Monterrey is about 150 miles from the Texas border. It has seen its share of crime and violence from the Mexican drug war. However, Monterrey and Nuevo Leon, the state that it’s the capital of, are on a road to recovery.
To further move along that recovery, Monterrey Mayor Margarita Cervantes, the city’s first female mayor, was visiting Harris County today. She met with Sheriff Adrian Garcia at Houston’s headquarters of emergency management. Garcia says he’s always worked to maintain national and international relationships.
“The idea was essentially to share information, to share ideas, but to work to an active relationship where we can receive information and best practices and we can share information and best practices and training.”
Garcia introduced Cervantes to some of the Sheriff’s Office’s public safety initiatives such as the iWatchHarrisCounty app, the Anti-Human Trafficking initiative and the agency’s High Risk Operations Unit.
Cervantes says it’s important for the two places to cooperate and exchange information in their crime-fighting efforts.
“Because those are situations and occasions of crime that don’t respect borders. And we need to communicate and we need to know exactly what happens in each place in order to apply the intelligence and to preventively apply the tactics that both Monterrey and Harris County follow.”
Cervantes says her goal is to reestablish the public’s feeling of security after years of gang violence in Monterrey. She says an important part of that is the involvement of the city’s youth.
“These topics are not just an issue for the police, it’s a question of prevention. We’ve already seen programs and actions where the same young people get involved to help their communities and the same young people listen to their conscience, which enables them to impact a bad decision.”
Sheriff Garcia also said his office has sent deputies to Mexico to provide training in the past and will continue to do that.