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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

S.D. County, Chula Vista Get Funds to Fight Drug Cartels

San Diego County and Chula Vista will receive nearly $8 million from the U.S. Government to fight violence that stems from Mexican drug cartels. Chula Vista's police chief says federal officials think drug violence could spill over the U.S. Mexico border. As KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson tells us, Chula Vista's Chief says that's not true, but he can still use the money.

The threat that drug violence could jump across the border guides federal border policy.

But Chula Vista Police Chief Rick Emerson says federal officials may not understand San Diego County like locals do.

He says even though the Mexican government is battling drug cartels and there were 844 murders in Tijuana last year, the violence has not crossed into cities like Chula Vista.

"We don't have the statistics to prove that there is that spillover so this is actually getting out ahead of a future concern," says Emerson.

"Do you have the future concern that this could spill over?" asks Isackson.

"No, I don't," replies Emerson.

Emerson says there's still criminal activity associated with the movement of drugs. He says he'll use federal money to address those crimes.

FBI statistics show Chula Vista's crime rate dropped every year from 2004 through 2008.

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