Rio Grande City Police Chief: Officers Will Adapt to Wall
RIO GRANDE CITY – Drug seizures are drastically down in Rio Grande City. More border security is being credited for that decrease.
The police chief said more cameras and law enforcement along the border is helping, and as far as the wall is concerned, they’ll have to adapt if it’s built.
Rio Grande City Police Chief Noe Castillo didn’t mention if he is for or against the border wall. He mentioned how the addition of the Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and other law enforcement is causing life to change in the city.
People who crossed the border illegally would end up in the downtown area. Bundles of marijuana were constantly getting seized in the streets of Rio Grande City.
“These issues are everywhere, you just see them more concentrated because of the area we are at,” Castillo said.
The city sits on the banks of the Rio Grande. The area was notorious for human and drug smuggling. It was before Texas pumped millions of dollars to add more state troopers and cameras along the border.
“We’ve seen a decrease in smuggling of immigrants and narcotics in our area,” Castillo said.
The Rio Grande City Police Department reported 106,726 pounds of marijuana was seized in 2013. DPS added more security in June 2014.
In 2016, city police officers caught smugglers with 2,865 pounds of marijuana.
The changes don’t mean drugs and people aren’t coming over the border at all. The federal agencies even brought on more aerostats in Starr County in the last three years.
“The aerostat - that catches people what they’re doing, they catch on to what’s going on. So they use other methods of moving their cargo and their smuggling routes,” Castillo said.
He said a wall between Mexico and U.S. won’t change the way they patrol.
“If there is a wall built, or if there isn’t a wall built, we’re still going to have our traffic. It doesn’t make a difference as to the way we do our patrols and we strategize. We still have to be out there,” Castillo explained.
The wall may bring some challenges. He said the police department will just have to adjust.