Sullivan City's new police chief vows to restore public trust
Sullivan City is home to about 5,000 people in western Hidalgo County.
Many who live there are concerned about public safety.
"Cause I have family," Miguel Trevino said. "If there's a lot of crime there's a lot of insecurity around here."
Juan Alejandro hopes to change that public perception.
He's the newest chief sworn in to lead the small town's police force.
"We're going to be a better department because we want to be a better department," he said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
The Sullivan City Police Department has struggled in recent years to maintain integrity at the top.
In 2012, Jose Anaya was fired as chief after just 8 months on the job.
In 2010, Hernan Guerra, Jr. was arrested for his role in a drug smuggling ring that landed him a 10 year sentence behind bars.
But even with all that controversy the chief believes he can earn the public's trust.
"We're going to earn our stripes when you call us," he said. "We'll be there. So we have no problem with that. That's our job. We swore to it and we accept it."
Chief Alejandro says it starts with his office where there will be an open door policy for public feedback.
He also plans to take on a grass roots approach to better community policing.
"We need to slow down, stop and get out of our cars and talk to more people," he explained. "That's what the people want and that's what they're going to see."
The Marine Corps veteran from Laredo plans to use his military experience to tackle drug and human smugglers who often race through town.
He talked about his plan of action for the department that has less than a dozen officers.
"We're going to seek more training because I believe in training," the chief said. "Training will keep us alive. Training will keep us safe. And training is going to keep this community safe."
They're promises people have heard before.
"It's going to take a while," Miguel said.
But faith in the chief position still remains.