WASHINGTON — Texas officials testifying in Washington say crime rates along the border underreport the extent of spillover violence from the Mexican drug war.
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw on Thursday told a congressional panel that statistics don't reflect "what's going on to the ground." Crimes rates in many Texas border cities are generally low and declining, but McCraw said that doesn't account for incidents such as extortion and attempted kidnappings.
Since January 2010, DPS has linked at least 22 murders and 24 assaults to what the agency considers spillover violence.
Federal officials dispute the bleak picture. Homeland Security Department spokesman Adam Fletcher said there are now "unprecedented" levels of border personnel and resources, and pointed toward border community crime rates dropping or holding steady over the past decade.