'Operation Crackdown': City tearing down unsafe structures

Abandoned homes in the city of Harlingen

Abandoned homes in the city of Harlingen might no longer be standing by next week.

The city is taking their second initiative since 2010 with this project.

They are pairing up with the National Guard to demolish the city's unsafe structures.

The project is called Operation Crackdown.

The National Guard is providing the labor and equipment to perform these demolitions, and the city of Harlingen is paying for the hauling and tipping fees of the debris.

Action 4 News spoke with the city of Harlingen and they said 100 percent of the property owners of these homes are participating in this program and are allowing the city and National Guard to take down the structures.

Not only do property owners and neighbors agree this will improve the quality of life in Harlingen, the city said it will help decrease crime by over 8 percent.

"Basically, the city's demolition program targets the unsafe structures, said Harlingen City Manager Carlos Yerena. While in this particular case the program targets the unsafe structures with a direct connection to criminal activity."

"It's very much of an eye sore, said property owner Janie Lucio. It depreciates the land around it. So once they take it down, that will be great."

The first time around, the city tore down 28 structures and now there are 25 different structures on the list to be demolished.

The National Guard will be having a demolition unit stationed in Harlingen.

Operation crackdown will be a two week process, starting on September 17 and going through September 27.