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Sep 14, 2012 9:00 PM by Lupita Murillo

Nogales is battling negative image with reality show

NOGALES Ariz. - Nogales is fighting an image problem. It is one of the busiest ports of entry in the country, but a reality TV show is shedding a different light on the border city. It's the not the kind of attention the city and local businesses are striving for.

The Nogales Police department signed on for five episodes of the Animal Planet reality TV show called Law on the Border. It was supposed to focus on the department's four drug-sniffing dogs. Instead, the mayor says its giving the city a bad image.

Mayor Arturo Garino says, "I'm not happy with it and I don't think it promotes Nogales in a good way."

He adds the city never authorized the segments, the former police chief did. Since the program debuted, he says he's had nothing but negative comments about how Nogales is portrayed.

"It's back to that border war thing, to that corridor, that cartel, and drugs. Issues that we don't need to Nogales." He also gives crimes stats showing that Nogales is one of the safest cities in Arizona.

Businessman Paul Bracker says the show is bad for business. "It has to affect our business," he says. "It has to make people worried about coming to this community."

Bracker's has been in business for 88 years. It was started by his father Charles Bracker. He says it was safe then and it is safe now.

That's the image the community wants to portray.

Mayor Garino says they have a great working relationship with Nogales, Sonora and wants to build on that. He believes by joining forces this can only benefit the state in terms of jobs, economy, and attracting new businesses.

The mayor has ordered the police department to stop filming any more Animal Planet segments in hopes of focusing in on the positive angles of the border town.


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