A difference of opinion is forming over the problem of crime along the Texas borderlands near Mexico.
Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, a Republican who's running for lieutenant governor, has a state-operated website portraying the Texas borderlands as a violent, dangerous place. ProtectYourTexasBorder.com aims to pressure federal officials into putting more security assets along the border, a keynote of Texas Republicans.
McAllen police and Hidalgo County sheriff's officials, though, cite crime statistics that show a precipitous drop in violent crime. The Monitor of McAllen (http://bit.ly/O6fN80) reports the 2011 crime report for McAllen, a border city, hit a 21-year low with a dramatic decrease in auto theft. Hidalgo County, where McAllen is situated, reported its second-lowest crime rate in 15 years with a 21.9 percent decline in violent crime.