POSTED: Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 8:32pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 12:32pm
Mexican officials are beefing up security in Ciudad Juarez, but Brownsville officials say they don't see that happening in our region any time soon because they firmly believe there are no major threats along our border requiring military presence.
“It’s not affecting us right now in a direct way when we were having gun battles in the streets.”
Overreaction is what Brownsville Mayor, Pat Ahumada, calls Texas Governor, Rick Perry’s recent request to Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano. He asked for 1,000 extra troops on the border.
“I feel safe. I go to Reynosa and Matamoros. I don't live in fear and people in McAllen don’t live in fear.”
Rather than sending troops to the region, he suggests a joint partnership between the governor, local leaders and the border coalition. That way, Ahumada says Perry will learn the many plans that are already in place if a situation like the ones in Ciudad Juarez or Reynosa were to occur in Brownsville or Matamoros.
“It’s all about communicating, coordinating and centralizing our resources.”
Brownsville Police Chief, Carlos Garcia says the police department met with other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to strengthen border security plans.
“As we continue to see in the news and through intelligence resources of some of the things occurring in México like last week in Reynosa, we need to make sure we're ready.”
But although he understands Perry’s concern about the on-going drug violence, Garcia doesn't believe Brownsville is as dangerous as the other border towns. Nevertheless, he says it's always best to be safe than sorry.