A comparison of the number of traffic citations issued by city police departments in Williamson and Burnet counties show a decline in the number of tickets from 2010 to 2011, but Liberty Hill police activity continues to rank high.
Information obtained by The Independent from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) shows seven of 12 departments in Williamson County reported a decline in the number of traffic stops over two years. While in Burnet County, three of four departments indicated a decline ranging from 37 to 53 percent.
Every year, law enforcement agencies are required by state law to report information about traffic stops as part of a racial profiling law adopted in 1999.
In recent weeks as the Liberty Hill City Council has discussed the possibility of reduced staffing in the police department, City Manager Manuel De La Rosa has noted the number of citations written by local police declined from 2010 to 2011 resulting in a decrease in fine revenue to the City through the Municipal Court.
A comparison of neighboring agencies shows Liberty Hill issued more citations in 2011 than most cities in Williamson County with the exception of the largest communities — Leander, Cedar Park, Georgetown and Round Rock.
TCLEOSE records show Liberty Hill police reported 3,475 stops in 2011 ranking them fifth among 12 cities.
Chief Randy Willliams said local police issue a citation on every traffic stop they make. Some are citations for traffic violations requiring an appearance or response to the City’s Municipal Court and others are warning citations.
Round Rock police reported the most stops with 41,814 — a 7 percent increase from 2010. Cedar Park police reported 9,746 for a 1 percent increase over 2010. Leander police reported the third highest number of stops with 8,378 in 2011 — a 14 percent decline from 2010. TCLEOSE records showed Georgetown police reported 5,186 stops in 2011.
Behind Liberty Hill, which ranked fifth in stops, was Taylor police, which reported 3,403 stops for a 29 percent increase over 2010. Hutto police reported 1,999 stops for a 49 percent reduction over the previous year.
Florence police reported a 2 percent increase from 1,739 to 1,776.
Thrall police saw a decline from 498 to 433 — a 13 percent decline. Bartlett police reported a 43 percent increase in stops from 247 to 354.
In granger, police made 170 stops in 2011 — down by 64 percent from the previous year.
Among cities in Williamson County, Jarrell police reported the fewest number of stops with 130 compared to 649 in 2010 — an 80 percent drop.
In Bertram, the city that Williams says has more in common with Liberty Hill as far as demograhics and traffic flow, police reported a 35 percent increase in stops from 2010 to 2011. TCELOSE records show 1,265 stops in 2011 compared to 935 the previous year.
In Burnet County, Marble Falls police reported the highest number of stops in 2011 with 3,475, but that number was down 53 percent from the previous year.
Burnet police reported 1,647 stops — down 37 percent from 2010. Granite Shoals police also reported a decline, stopping 973 in 2011 compared to 1,688 in 2010.