LHPD traffic stops top Bertram, most area small departments

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In the first eight months of the year, Liberty Hill Police officers made more traffic stops than most small city departments in the area during 2014.

According to Chief Randy Williams, Liberty Hill police recorded 985 traffic stops from January through August this year. During the month of August, the department reported 232 traffic violations.

The number of traffic stops for Liberty Hill so far this year tops the 682 stops made during 2014.

“I initiated two driver awareness programs (speeding and hands-free mobile devices), so that added to the number of stops,” said Chief Williams. “The hands-free violations added quite a few this last month.”

Williams said the increase in traffic through Liberty Hill with the start of school also added to the increased number of traffic stops.

He said a comparison with other departments is not significant or indicative of anything, but is “interesting information.”

“The city closest to our demographics is Bertram since it is on the same highway and literally has the same people driving through,” Williams said.

Bertram’s speed limit on State Highway 29 is 45 miles per hour compared to 55 mph all through Liberty Hill.

Williams has asked the City Council to request that Texas Department of Transportation lower the speed limit to 45mph in Liberty Hill.

According to Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, Bertram reported 386 traffic stops in 2014.

Total traffic stops in other central Texas cities in 2014 include Llano, 420; Johnson City, 536; Granite Shoals, 825; Blanco, 984; Florence, 1,688 (includes patrols on IH-35); Bartlett, 686; Jarrell, 143; Marble Falls, 1,644; Taylor, 1,238; Hutto, 1,347; Georgetown, 19,000 and Round Rock, 26,558.

The police department also reported the following activities and calls for service during August: 1 Burglary of a Building 1 Theft 2 Assaults 1 Resisting Arrest 2 Public Intoxications 1 Trespassing 2 Harassments 1 Warrant Arrest 5 Vehicle Crashes 13 Disturbances 14 Suspicious Activities 3 Reckless Drivers 6 Animals at Large 12 Agency Assists 7 Citizen Assists 5 Welfare Concerns 4 Alarms 25 Traffic Hazards 4 City Ordinance Violations

Williams said the number of thefts inside the city limits dropped from four in July to one in August.

“We have increased our night patrols of the residential areas, and we are entering the lull between the summer and the winter crime surges,” Williams explained. “A lot of the thefts this summer were lawn equipment and now that the grass has quit growing, the demand for mowers is down,” he said.

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