El Paso — El Paso Police officer say more people means more crime on the eastside, and it’s getting tougher to fight it.
Crime has gone up five percent in the area compared to this time last year, and police officers say the expanding eastside is a big factor.
“It’s growing out of control,” Cmdr. Patrick Maloney said. “And it’s getting harder to keep up.”
The Pebble Hills Regional Command opened its doors in 1994, and since then it has experienced phenomenol growth. There are over 220,000 people who reside on the eastside in a geographic area of 58 square miles.
That’s a tough assignment for the 211 sworn officers assigned to the command center. Despite the growth, that number has held steady. The El Paso Police Department has not held a Police Academy since June 2008.
“We haven’t had a class so we haven’t had any sworn officers coming into the station,” Maloney said.
That concerns eastside resident Isaac Lopez. He lives in the 12000 block of Kaitlyn Reece, the same neighborhood where a home invasion occurred on Thursday.
“It bothers me especially because I moved to this area because it’s so nice,” Lopez said. “That’s why we’ve all installed alarm systems.”
Lopez said he hopes his community ramps up efforts to keep a better eye on what’s going on in the area where they live.