ALICE -- The city of Alice is turning to the federal government to help run gangs out of town. The newly elected congressman, Filemon Vela, who represents the U.S. Texas Congressional District 34, he says he hopes to help combat crime.
City officials say, Alice sits at the crossroads when it comes to crime, with drugs, gangs and guns pouring into town from the border on their way north but Vela wants it to be the end of the road. He will be sworn in to office in January and is ready to get to work fighting crime.
"Right now the needs seem to be related to helping with law enforcement activity because they've seen some increased drug activity," Congressman Vela said.
Vela will be working closely with city leaders to help fight the increase in gang violence. This past summer is when drive by shootings on Escobar Street, dozens of arrests and house raids made news almost every day. Police say they hired 5 new officers in July and plan to hire more but what they really need is money to keep fighting gangs and that's where the federal government comes in.
"Our role, is pretty general and that is to be generally supportive of grant applications from either counties or cities or school districts that are in our district," Congressman Vela said. "There are some law enforcement concerns and were going to do everything we can from our offices stand point to work with the city of Alice to confront their issues with law enforcement."