A Small Texas Town is Suddenly the 3rd Most Dangerous in State

When you think of the most dangerous places in Texas, you might imagine big cities like Houston, Dallas, or El Paso. But according to the latest crime statistics, a small town in the Panhandle region has surpassed them all. Borger, a town of about 12,000 people, has become the third most dangerous city in Texas, behind only Weslaco and Bellmead.

What makes Borger so dangerous?

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, Borger had a violent crime rate of 1,288 per 100,000 residents in 2023, which is more than three times the state average of 410. Borger also had a property crime rate of 5,367 per 100,000 residents, which is more than twice the state average of 2,343. Borger’s crime rates have increased significantly since 2020, when they were 867 and 3,895, respectively.

So what is behind this surge in crime? Some possible factors are:

Economic decline: Borger’s economy is largely dependent on the oil and gas industry, which has been hit hard by the global pandemic and the transition to renewable energy sources. Many workers have lost their jobs or faced reduced wages, leading to poverty, unemployment, and desperation.

Drug trafficking: Borger is located along Highway 136, which connects Amarillo to Oklahoma and Kansas. This makes it a convenient route for drug smugglers and dealers, who bring in methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl from Mexico and other states. Drug abuse and addiction fuel violence, theft, and property damage in the town.

Lack of law enforcement: Borger’s police department is understaffed and underfunded, making it difficult to respond to the rising crime. According to the city’s website, the police department has only 24 sworn officers and 10 civilian employees, which is not enough to cover the town’s area of 8.43 square miles. The police department also lacks modern equipment, training, and technology to combat crime effectively.

What can be done to improve the situation?

Borger’s crime problem is not hopeless, but it requires urgent and comprehensive action from various stakeholders. Some possible solutions are:

Economic development: Borger needs to diversify its economy and create more opportunities for its residents. This could include attracting new businesses, investing in education and training, and supporting local entrepreneurs and small businesses. Economic growth and stability would reduce poverty, unemployment, and inequality, and increase the quality of life and social cohesion in the town.

Drug prevention and treatment: Borger needs to address the root causes and consequences of drug abuse and addiction in the town. This could include increasing the availability and accessibility of drug prevention and education programs, providing more resources and support for drug treatment and recovery services, and enhancing the coordination and cooperation among law enforcement, health care, and social service agencies to combat drug trafficking and use.

Law enforcement reform: Borger needs to improve its law enforcement capacity and performance to deter and reduce crime. This could include increasing the number and diversity of police officers and civilian staff, providing more funding and equipment for the police department, and implementing more training and accountability measures for the police force. Law enforcement reform would also involve building trust and collaboration between the police and the community, and addressing any issues of bias, corruption, or misconduct.


Borger is a small town with a big crime problem. Its violent and property crime rates are among the highest in Texas, and have worsened in recent years. The main factors contributing to this problem are economic decline, drug trafficking, and lack of law enforcement. To reverse this trend, Borger needs to implement a comprehensive and coordinated strategy that involves economic development, drug prevention and treatment, and law enforcement reform. By doing so, Borger can become a safer and more prosperous place for its residents and visitors.

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