SANTA MARIA - The Santa Maria School District is a campus of about 800 students located in Cameron county near the Cameron-Hidalgo county line. Monday the police department received this 2002 seized Chevy SUV from from the Cameron county sheriff department and District Attorney's office.
"In these times to buy any kind of vehicles it's important they have a vehicle to patrol and the building themselves."
You will now see Chief Daniel Cruz and his two officers cruising around the campus in the police unit. Four months ago the school district didn't even have a department.
In the past the school district relied on the constables and the sheriff department. The school board decided to start up the campus police to have someone on location fulltime for the safety of the kids.
"Protecting lives is our main goal and now this is going to be easier with our patrol car we are going to continue building up and get the equipment we need."
Chief Cruz says one of the department's biggest safety concerns is having the school district located so close the border, which is not even a one mile away.
"We are very close to the river I can’t stress enough sheriff's office constables are ready to assist us but the response time is one of the factors we think about."
Chief Cruz says he looks forward to his department growing and continuing to protect the children of Santa Maria school district.