'Operation Crackdown' to target Harlingen buildings used for crime

Operation Crackdown is now in effect in Harlingen.

A home on the 1200 block of Greenway Drive become the first of 42 buildings that will be demolished.

It's all part of the city's effort to take down homes and buildings used for crimes.

Harlingen City Manager Carlos Yerena said the 42 buildings are mostly homes.

They will be demolished within the next two weeks throughout 34 different areas in the city

Yerena said it's an initiative the city has always pushed for but hasn't been able to accomplish due to lack of funding but the Texas National Guard is stepping in.

Property owners agreed to have these buildings demolished as no cost to them.

Yerena said getting rid of these vacant buildings will deter crime.

"Those particular structures all have a direct nexus to drugs and criminal activity so if we get rid of these eye sores we're going to have a less crime and a cleaner community, he said.

A Texas National Guard crew supervises the demolition while Yerena says the city will only pay for hauling the rubble to a dump.

Yerena said demolishing a structure can cost from $5,000 to $10,000 dollars but the Texas National Guard is able to float the cost with the money they seize.

Operation Crackdown is expected to run through September 8th but the city is hoping to make this a yearly thing.

Yerena said he TMs encouraging residents to reports unsafe structures to their Harlingen Code Enforcement.

RAW VIDEO: Harlingen Crack House Demolition