MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — On Oct. 1 the Texas Department of Public Safety released the 2020 crime report for the state of Texas. On that report, the city of McAllen ranks second in the state for lowest in violent crime.
“This is evidence, every time that someone says that something bad is happening, I check with law enforcement with police departments,” said Richard Cortez, Hidalgo County’s Judge.
DPS collected data on violent crime for 41 cities with population sizes over 100,000, and McAllen’s rate for violent crimes was about 85 for every 100,000 people, putting them second after San Antonio.
Judge Cortez said the results on McAllen, which is in Hidalgo County, do not surprise him.
“Statistics show that crime didn’t go up,” said Cortez. “We do have crime, we do have bad things happen in the valley, but that’s not the norm, that’s not the majority of the time.”
Judge Cortez pointed to the pandemic for causing a shift in some crime rates to go up although the overall rate of crime went down.
“To give you an example of the effects of the pandemic, we had less drivers-intoxicated when we had to shelter place, but then we had more domestic violence so it kind of shifted,” said Cortez.
Though Cortez said the Rio Grande Valley has never been a violent place, it is continued to be shown in a negative light for political interest.
“You know it’s a shame but people are using this immigration issue as a political football,” said Cortez.
Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra agrees with Judge Cortez’s statement. He said that people mistake the valley to be a violent place because of the border.
“We get a bad perception because of what is happening literally right across our border,” said Guerra.
However, Guerra says that Hidalgo County is far from being a violent place.
“Especially the city of McAllen and some of the cities in the county of Hidalgo are seeing some of the lowest crime rates compared to other cities of the same size,” said Guerra.
Governor Greg Abbott said in June that “President Biden’s open-border policies have paved the way for dangerous gangs and cartels, human traffickers, and deadly drugs like fentanyl to pour into our communities.”
On Wednesday Abbott was in the RGV joined by 10 other state governors to address what he calls a border crisis.
“Texas and other states are taking action to do the federal government’s job,” said Abbott.
Abbott also thanked the governors that had sent resources to Texas.
“They understand the magnitude of the problem as well as the need for action.”