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Alton PD joins local Texas Anti-Gang Center program

The Alton Police Department will be helping municipalities across the Rio Grande Valley to combat gang criminal activity. On Tuesday, the City Commission agreed to a memorandum of understanding between local agencies of services part of the Texas Anti-Gang program.

According to Texas.gov, the Texas Anti-Gang program consists of local government police units preventing organized crime by gangs. McAllen Chief of Police Victor Rodriguez, Edinburg Chief of Police Jamie Ayala, and Mission Chief of Police Cesar Torres lead the organization unit.

The city’s police department joined the organization during TAG’s first yearly meeting on January 25, 2024, following the Palmhurst Police Department’s nomination the previous year.

“TAG is there to help everyone whether you’re a member or not. In the past, we were not members, but we’d call investigators…get a search warrant for a tag,” said Alton Chief of Police Mark Perez. “Now that we’re going to be a contributing member, we’re going to have an investigator there to help us out as well, or, in turn, help other agencies.”

By joining TAG, the police department will receive new equipment, such as license plate scanners.

“It helps zero in…narrowing the investigations for a criminal case,” Perez said.

An investigator, Eric Flores, will be appointed to work with other operatives on cases.

“When he’s at TAG, if something comes across his desk, a request comes in, he’s gonna help,” said the chief. “He’s a seasoned officer, he’s been with us for almost 4 years. He’s a very proficient criminal investigator.”

Despite joining TAG, the chief reassures the Alton public that it doesn’t mean high criminal activity is present in the city. He further explained the nomination focuses on mutual aid.

“All it is, is intel sharing amongst multiple agencies,” said Perez.

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