Border security grant helping pay police to patrol longer


    <p>Sullivan City's police department is expected to receive overtime pay for police to help with border security. (Source KGBT 4){/p}

    On a daily basis, people living in Sullivan City say they see undocumented immigrants and drug smugglers cross their property.

    Consuelo Villalón has lived her entire life on the border between Cuevitas on the Texas side and Cuidad Gustavo Díaz Ordaz in Tamaulipas.

    She says people crossing through her property has also been part of daily life.

    “They get into my property and hide - its spooks me sometimes,” Villalón said.

    She says that when Border Patrol's aerostat is brought down, she sees more people running across the street in front of her house.

    "It’s business as usual," said Sullivan City’s police chief Richard Ozuna.

    Nearby Sullivan City's police department patrols Villalón's neighborhood and for the third year, police can continue to patrol for longer hours.

    The department will be able to pay its cops overtime to help with border security. That’s thanks to the Local Border Security Grant program from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

    "[This is] for the public to see us and the criminal violator sees us and sometimes it’s basically a deterrent," Ozuna said.

    Police officers have also been involved in rescuing people that are found lost and dehydrated. Ozuna expects more of those incidents to occur as the summer months approach.

    “The other day I found a girl who was around 15 years-old,” Villalón said. “I found her crying by the railroad tracks and I asked her, ‘What are you doing here?’ The girl said, ‘I have been lost for three days.’"

    The girl told Villalón she had been abandoned and sexually assaulted. Villalón says she called border patrol so she could receive medical help.

    "Sometimes they will call 911 and ask for assistance and that is our responsibility," Ozuna said.

    Sullivan City's police chief is unsure of the approximate amount his cops will be paid in overtime, but he says every bit of patrolling help keep his small town quiet and safe.

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