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Drivers to see more DPS Troopers on interstates and less Belton Police officers

Posted at 10:28 PM, Feb 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-07 09:57:30-05

BELTON, TX — People driving through one of the busiest crossroads in Central Texas may notice more Texas State Troopers and fewer Belton Police officers.

DPS will now take first calls on the interstates so Belton cops can do more in Belton.

In the last year, 45% of all traffic accidents in the city of Belton happened on the interstate. That took away valuable resources from a growing town that needs police badly.

Tye Hill calls it a fact of life. Folks just act better when they know the cops have an eye out.

"I think it's one of those things that's noticeable, like when you see a cop drive by, you pull back a little and drive a little safer and does the things they need to," he explained.

In fast-growing Belton, police have become busier than ever, answering almost 37,000 calls in 2018.

Many of those calls brought cops to the interstate for wrecks similar to this week's pedestrian accident on I-14.

Now, Belton has handed off much of it's interstate calls to Texas State Troopers.

"We think that this arrangement will be more efficient for us working in town, and it'll help in some instances for us to cover parts of Belton," said Paul Romer with the City of Belton.

Belton hopes people more visible police means less visible crime and no change on the road

”People that are driving on the interstate and have an issue, they won't see any difference in service,” Romer noted.

Residents in the neighborhood around the Powerhouse Cheer Gym say they've had problems with break-ins and would like to see more cops.

"I think it's an instant impact," said Hill.

Making streets safer in one of the fastest-growing towns in Central Texas.

"I think having police on the streets around here, especially at this business where we have children at Powerhouse, I think that's gonna be a lot better as a whole because it's just gonna make everyone be a little bit better," said Hill.

Belton police will still respond to accidents on the interstate, especially when DPS is busy with other accidents, but residents should see more Belton police in Belton, from now on.