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Socorro Police Department expands with new cars, more officers
By: Stacey Welsh
SOCORRO, Texas -- From brighter LED lights on police vehicles to a new radio system, the Socorro Police Department said its new cars have all the bells and whistles officers need.
"It was necessary because our fleet was falling apart. It was costing a lot in maintenance and repairs, so we were replacing batteries and all kinds of little maintenance issues that we had," Socorro Police Chief Edmundo Montoya said.
Montoya also said the Police Department's old cars each had an average of about 150,000 miles on them. The city took out loans to pay for five new 2014 Ford Explorers.
Including repairs to the department's two buildings, police expect these changes to resolve issues the department has been dealing with for the past few years.
"They were not being addressed. Now the city council has approved for us to move forward and make this a more professional department," Montoya said.
The Police Department has also upgraded its outdated radio system to the P25 system El Paso County uses.
"We wouldn't be able to communicate with Border Patrol, [Department of Public Safety], or the El Paso Police Department. With all of us being on the same radio system, we're all going to be able to communicate with each other on major situations," Montoya said.
With four new officers on the road, some residents say they've noticed a difference.
"I think the more police patrol and things like that do keep people obeying the laws. So, it's safety," Socorro resident Bernice Calderon said.