Cameron Co. City Amends Budget to Expand Police Dept.
LOS INDIOS – The Los Indios Police Department is planning to expand a year after its inception.
Los Indios resident Rufino Villela said the town has improved since the department was established.
“This is a very peaceful place, with lots of privacy,” he said. “The problem was that a lot of people from outside our area would come here and burglarize the homes.”
Villela said he was able to see a change soon after. However, he said one officer is not enough.
“This officer, during the day, he is doing things very well,” he said. “Things are fine during the day, but it’s still necessary to have an extra officer at night. People know there are no officers, so the problems start again.”
Los Indios Police Chief Jose De La Rosa is the only full-time police officer working for the city. Other reserve officers assist but only on a volunteer basis.
Before the department existed, De La Rosa said the city had to depend on nearby law enforcement agencies for protection.
“It was tough just because the response time for the sheriff’s office was a long time. So, the community needed the law enforcement as all,” he said. “Any city here in Cameron County needs to have their law enforcement (agency). Los Indios is the only community from here until Brownsville that has the only police department.”
A year after opening its doors, the police department said they will finally be able to expand.
“We’re trying to change the image of the city, and having a city where you’re welcome to come here and live here,” De La Rosa said.
The police chief said there was little money allocated for the department when it started. He said their budget has now grown.
“The budget, to have the vehicles it’s an extra expense to the city that we didn’t have before. We do think that maybe in two years we’ll have a full-time department to serve the community better. It’s just little by little we have to get everything we need,” De La Rosa said.
The first step the city is expecting to take is obtaining a larger facility for the department. They also want to have equipment and technology necessary for future officers.
“We do need another officer here, at least until midnight. If he wants to go at midnight that’s fine, because people are already asleep,” said Villela.
De La Rosa said the city amended their budget in order to create an opening for the police department. They eliminated an open public works position.
“We want peace for everyone. We want families and kids to be able to go out on the streets without worrying about people speeding through the area, and causing problems for themselves and us,” the resident said.
In the coming months, De La Rosa said they hope to start the process of growing their police force to better serve the community of Los Indios.