It didn’t take long for the top local law enforcement authorities to answer this question: Doesn’t it seem eerily quiet for the last several weeks? No major crimes, wrecks, fires?
Sheriff Roger Deeds agreed about the lull in headlines but said “work around here has been steady.”
Granbury Police Chief Mitch Galvan was more direct. “We have been very busy,” he said. “Calls are up, and we’ve been working a lot of accidents.”
Yes, anyone driving on traffic-choked U.S. Highway 377 knows that hardly a day goes by without at least one collision followed by sirens blaring and emergency vehicles trying to squeeze through the traffic.
Police respond to an average of almost four accidents every day in the city. They worked 1,000 vehicle crashes last year, and police don’t see that number dropping anytime soon.
“There are a lot of people in town, and the roads are not quite built for that amount of traffic,” Deputy Police Chief Cliff Andrews said. “The city is aggressively pursuing conversations with TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation).”
Help can’t come soon enough.
Police were busier in 2020 than the year before. Response calls jumped 20 percent with calls up in every major category – assaults, thefts, burglaries.
The sheriff’s office responded to more assault calls than the previous year, but theft and burglary calls were down.
“We’ve had a lot of growth in our county and city,” Andrews said, “and we’ve been dealing with problems that result in that growth.”
But Andrews agreed that crime for the most part has been down lately. “Things are going pretty well right now,” he said. “The only major crime we’ve had is a string of ATM thefts. We’re pursuing some leads on that.”
Thieves hook a chain to the machines and pull them off with a truck. “We’ve been hit multiple times,” Andrews said. One of the trucks used in the theft was found abandoned, stolen from the Metroplex. “It’s a ring hitting North Texas,” the policeman said. “Multiple towns have been hit.”
He encourages people to call police if they see anything or anyone suspicious near an ATM. Don’t confront them, just call, he stressed.
Granbury is also seeing an increase in the homeless population, Andrews said. Police work with different charitable organizations, such as Mission Granbury and Couch Surfer Ministries, to help find beds and food for the homeless.
“As the county grows, I think you’re going to see these types of calls,” he said.