Police Chief Explains Response to Possible Incursions Following Incident

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Satellite map indicating the route of the Mexican vehicles. Satellite map indicating the route of the Mexican vehicles.

UPDATE (12/28): Mexican authorities have reviewed the surveillance video and they do not believe their state police vehicles crossed the U.S. boundary.

On Wednesday, they had stated that the police units were their vehicles.

The statement sent out reads in part:

"In regards to the supposed incursion of the two Tamaulipas State Police vehicles on U.S. territory, by the Texas border, on the Los Indios International Bridge, the secretary of public safety finds no evidence that such situation happened."

The Mexican government does say that it is common practice for some of those individuals to be on international bridges to assist with traffic and provide safety to travelers.

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LOS INDIOS – As local officials discuss setting new signs at the Los Indios International Bridge after two Mexican state police crossed the border illegally, they are also in talks about how to respond to possible incursions.

Los Indios Police Chief Jose De La Rosa was hired two years ago. He can't recall the last time anything like this happened.

His department has a plan of action when responding to incidents at the bridge, but he explains working in a federal jurisdiction comes with its own challenges.

People have mixed reactions to the surveillance video. Winter Texan John Parish saw it and didn't feel alarmed.

He recounts, "No, it doesn't make me feel unsafe. It makes me feel like possibly made a mistake or was just talking and went too far with their compadres as they're going down the road."

He chooses this community by the border for its weather and safety.

Parish says, "We feel the place is being watched. Where I walk my dog I feel like I don't have to look over my shoulder."

The Tamaulipas State Police vehicles crossed the bridge. They passed the U.S. boundary. The duty-free store, Brady's, was the one that caught it all on video.

That store is on U.S. soil. That's near where the vehicles turned around. They never went past the customs inspection area; meaning, they didn't get past the bridge.

De La Rosa says had they crossed over, the department would have responded.

"We don't know if they're real officers or not. At that point, if they have weapons, we'll engage them with our weapons out," he says.

Those at the store have told him Mexican customs or members of the army also go to this duty-free store on U.S. soil.

Responding to an incident there comes with challenges.

A few months ago, De La Rosa says they responded to armed robbers who came in from Mexico and held up employees.

He recalls, "There were several subjects inside that came with weapons and they fled back to Mexico."

The chief and his department of 12 stay vigilant. They know more challenges lie ahead.

"I think we need to finish that fence as far as just closing the openings," says De La Rosa.

For now, for some, the security in place is sufficient.

Parish says, "Oh yeah. I'd come back here without a bit of problem."

A serene community wants to keep its peace.

De La Rosa wants to improve communication with Mexico for situations like this. He's hoping to talk to the Mexican customs officer of that bridge to be better prepared for future incidents like these.

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