Los Fresnos, to many, is a sleepy and safe town. This image is quite misleading.

Dear Editor:

Los Fresnos, to many, is a sleepy and safe town. This image is quite misleading.

For it presumed protection, Los Fresnos supports a police department of nineteen officers. This number, according to statistics, is a higher than average size force than other Texas towns comparable in population to Los Fresnos.

On any given day, peering up or down Arroyo Blvd. (Paredes Line Road to some) or eastward to westward/westward to eastward along Ocean Blvd. (Highway 100 to most), onlookers routinely spot the blue, red, orange, and white blinking lights atop the Los Fresnos PD cruisers pulling aside motorist after motorist after motorist for driving violations for the public’s presumed protection.

For the past decade and earlier, many have singled out Los Fresnos , designating it as a speeding trap. Valley sources, dubbing Los Fresnos this, include the Brownsville Herald and The Monitor. Other credible sources further away within Texas , making the same claim, include the Texas Monthly, the Statesman.com, the Houston Chronicle, and the San Antonio Express. The National Motorist Association provides Los Fresnos national recognition for the same reason, being a speed trap rather than a particularly safe community with its quite visible police force along its main thoroughfares. Even local defensive driving instructors state the same conclusion while Los Fresnos authorities deny its speed trap label when confronted. Beyond printed sources, it is easy to find many testimonials online from convicted motorists who detail their rather questionable traffic citations in Los Fresnos specifically. With so many traffic pullovers, it is possible, moreover likely, for errors by officers, and/or worse yet, for potential abuse by the Los Fresnos PD and not day-to-day actions conducted exclusively for the public’s protection.

Off the road crime statistics in Los Fresnos warrant public attention as well. The most common crimes in Los Fresnos include assaults, burglaries, and thefts, which have increased and remained steady the past six years. Since 2009, assaults average fifteen yearly. During the same period, burglaries average thirty-four per year and thefts ninety-nine per year. Presented in more meaningful numbers, a Los Fresnos resident is assaulted every 24 days, is a victim of burglary every 10 days, and is a victim of theft every 3 days. Since 2009, the Los Fresnos Police Department has not in any meaningful numbers reduced these crimes citywide.

The focus of the Los Fresnos PD appears to be apprehending drivers day and night rather than more aggressively patrolling its vulnerable neighborhoods. Los Fresnos PD should, use their keen eyes, dash cameras, and body cameras, that the taxpayers pay for, to identify suspicious activities. They should be proactively stopping crimes before they occur. They should be using their technology and expertise to apprehend and prosecute the true dangerous criminals on the loose in Los Fresnos.

A safe Los Fresnos requires a reasonable balance, reduced crime rates not steady ones year after year, and not an enlarged police force, reinforcing its widely known reputation in the Rio Grande Valley, throughout Texas and beyond as a speed trap by its high volume of ticketed motorists (who must appear in person on designated Wednesdays to municipal court ready to pay whether guilty or not). Reduce the time devoted to issuing traffic citations and replace it issuing arrest warrants to lock up burglars, thieves, and other like criminals. Even better yet, stop these potentially violent crimes before they happen to make Los Fresnos truly safe rather than perpetuate the speed trap designation. The residents of Los Fresnos deserve and should demand better from its police department.

Respectfully,

Linda S. Garcia
Los Fresnos taxpayer

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One Response to Los Fresnos, to many, is a sleepy and safe town. This image is quite misleading.

  1. I just found this article when looking for a home invasion news report on a invasion that happened two days ago 6 doors down from where I live. I have not found any report on that one, which makes me wonder if it is easier to prevent data before it becomes a statistic than to fix it. it is cheaper for the LFPD to hire new young officers and issue traffic tickets than to hire experienced officers and solve the problems, which for me means the LFPD is the problem

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