Located in the Texas panhandle, Levelland is made up of around 14,000 residents that welcome upwards of 9,000 students to attend its community college each year. While standard motor vehicle accidents, domestic disturbances and criminal mischief calls take up the majority of the police department's time, a larger threat is emerging in the tight-knit community.
"When I started with Levelland, we had a lot of homegrown-type gang memberships, and now its gone further out into more of a global-type," said Chief Albert Garcia of the Levelland Police Department. "A lot of these gangs might be affiliate gangs of the larger gangs, but no matter how you cut it, the larger gangs are who are operating the smaller affiliates in our city."
But, not for long.
Local law enforcement has worked tirelessly to prevent thist threat from evolving into a major problem. Specifically, by targeting the gangs' key business interest — drugs.
"These gangs have a lot of the resources needed to move and relocate large amounts of narcotics from one point of the United States to another," Garcia said.
To combat the rise in gangs and prevent the transport of drugs, Levelland PD has teamed up with other state and federal agencies.
By sharing information between agencies and across jurisdictions, the involved police departments have been able to follow suspects from one community to another and eventually make an arrest.
Working with the DEA and other drug and gang taskforces, the Levelland PD has been able to stop the transport of massive amounts of narcotics, Garcia said, including cases with methamphetamine packages ranging from 22 to 40 pounds.
From traffic citations to hurricanes to burglary rings, public safety personnel are always ready to provide help when it’s needed most.
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