Palm Valley seeking title as ‘safest’ city in RGV

PALM VALLEY — Police Chief Alvaro Garcia has a dream.

It’s one that would be welcomed by every resident in Palm Valley — to officially be the safest city in all of the Rio Grande Valley.

Garcia reported the city’s low crime numbers last week, when referencing both violent and property crime. He said the city has had no official “property” crime during the past 12 months.

“We are keeping the people who don’t belong here out,” Garcia said. “I hope we can carry it through the whole year.”

That’s what his department will have to do to move ahead of Rancho Viejo as the safest city by the numbers in the RGV. But, Garcia wants to say Palm Valley is the safest.

In 2015, Rancho Viejo was 15th on the FBI list of safest cities in all of Texas. The list was based on a crime rate that was determined utilizing violent crimes, property crimes and the city’s population. All 30 of those on the list had populations of less than 10,000, most had populations under 3,000.

That, along with the locations and demographics, seems to put Palm Valley and Rancho Viejo in the wheelhouse for the honor each year.

Rancho Viejo’s numbers for 2015 showed no violent crimes reported and just four property crimes.

Garcia said Palm Valley had one violent crime in 2015 and 12 property crimes.

“I still think this is the safest city in Cameron County,” Garcia said of his municipality.

And Palm Valley is going the right direction with its reducing crime. Based on the numbers, it appears to be safer than it was a few years back.

According to previous year’s FBI Crime in the United States uniform crime reports, Palm Valley still may have a ways to go to catch Rancho Viejo when it comes to the crime rate.

In 2014, Palm Valley had no violent crimes, but had 31 property crimes. All but one was larceny/theft. With a population of Rancho Viejo registered at about twice that of Palm Valley, that city registered no violent crimes and just 10 property crimes.

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