Palmview PD: Chases decrease amid immigrant crisis

Chases decrease amid immigrant crisis

Due to the surge of immigrants surrendering along the border, local police departments report a dramatic decrease of police pursuits across the Valley.

Western Hidalgo County, including cities like Palmview used to be a hotbed for immigrants crossing the border.

Now numbers are way down, but it's not because the border is more secure.

In an attempt to smuggle immigrants and narcotics into the country, traffickers often send Palmview police on a chase across the border.

Palmview Detective Joe Lopez has seen dozens of pursuits, but since the recent surge of immigrants turning themselves in began Palmview has grown quiet.

"The number of pursuits have decreased dramatically. This month alone I don't believe we had our own initiated pursuit."

Last month, Lopez says they had about a dozen.

A dangerous tactic for both police and those on the run, Lopez is happy to see a decrease.

"It becomes a danger to anybody in the pursuit TMs path."

In 2012, nine immigrants were killed when a van rolled over on the expressway.

Before the immigration influx, Palmview says the number of pursuits was increasing.

"The human loads were becoming more and more frequent then the actual narcotics. The trend changed from narcotics into illegals."

"These people are just coming over, they are giving up. They aren't putting up any resistance not even running on foot."

But the trend is already changing again.

This past week, Lopez said more immigrants are turning themselves in alone.

"We've seen a decrease in family units and now its single people coming up, not even in pairs."

While the Border Patrol has more immigrants to process Palmview police say pursuits of human smugglers are no longer a distraction.

"We do feel after a pursuit, man something had to have crossed when we were busy with this."

Now police can focus cracking down on narcotics moving through their city.

The Palmview Police Department said they have a very good working relationship with both Border Patrol and DPS.

They will strive to maintain that relationship throughout this immigration influx.