La Feria Increased Police Patrols Receiving Positive Feedback from Community

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LA FERIA – A McAllen man admits he and his driving partner were caught Wednesday while driving through La Feria with a car that wasn't tagged properly.

La Feria's police chief says violators of the law may feel the impact of increased patrols.

The man who identifies himself only as "Victor" says he and his driving partner simply weren't ready to see more police working the streets of La Feria. He says the officers caught them and taught him to be more responsible.

Victor and his friend thought it was going to be another day on Rio Grande Valley roads driving to work.

"We were coming from McAllen to work in Raymondville when we were stopped by La Feria P.D. for not having proper paper plates," he says.

Victor claims the plates came from the dealer the car was purchased from. His partner, who was driving, was taken into custody.

Victor had to pay a $500 fine to have him released. Victor sees it as a mistake he will not make again.

"I agree with what they are doing. It is their job. It is a learning lesson to have the vehicle up-to-date," he notes.

Victor says he has a message for those driving in La Feria.

"I'm telling those who drive by this city to be aware of this and have your documents in place," he adds.

Shortly after, CHANNEL 5 NEWS witnessed La Feria police make another arrest. This time it was a man with an outstanding warrant out of New Mexico.

When New Mexico chose not to extradite him, the man was cited for driving without a license.

La Feria Police Chief Cesar Rene Diaz says his force has more of an emphasis on officers patrolling the streets these days and is using two grants to pay for its officers' overtime.

He says his officers have seen a slight increase in police calls over the last two years. Diaz adds the people of La Feria are telling him they notice the difference.

"The majority of the community, they enjoy it. They agree with us being out there more, being more vigilant. And, I think that's a proactive approach to our community as far as fighting crime," says Diaz.

Diaz says he is also asking the force to be more visible and active in the neighborhoods.

The police chief notes La Feria police have seen the highest increase in activity on traffic calls. He says he has seen more citations issued for fictitious license plates in the last two years.

Diaz says if his officers stop someone who doesn't have identification, they will contact agencies such as Border Patrol to help identify them.

La Feria police hired one new officer in the last two years.  Diaz says in 2016, La Feria had 12 officers to patrol the city and two investigators.

Today, the city's force has 13 officers on patrol and two investigators.

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