WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas - The Hutto police chief is doing what he can to keep big city crime out of his small town.
He has created a street narcotics team. In this week’s Crime Watch, FOX 7's Noelle Newton explains how it works.
Hutto is a welcoming and friendly place, but Chief Byron Frankland doesn't want just anyone to stop in for a visit.
He hopes to remove all appeal to drug dealers with the creation of a street narcotics unit.
"Targeting traffickers in our community whether it be in vehicles, whether it be out of a residence,” said Frankland.
An undercover street team may sound too "big city" for a place with a population of 23-thousand, but Frankland said no zip code is exempt from drug problems.
"It doesn't matter if you're in a large urban area or a very rural community you're going to have that one house, or two houses that narcotics traffickers know where to get narcotics,” he said.
Within the past few months two officers have attended specialized schools and spent time with the highway interdiction team at the Williamson County Sheriff's Office learning how to spot a potential drug trafficker and how to locate drugs or cash.
Now trained and on their own, they are hitting the roadways in Hutto.
"We've made a few significant traffic stops where we were able to seize some narcotics and some large amounts of cash that have been trafficking through,” said Frankland.
Frankland said the most brag-worthy bust was $15,000 concealed in a vehicle along the 130 Toll.
There is a real risk when these people are passing through.
"A lot of these traffickers will pick grocery store parking lots, they'll pick fuel store parking lots where they'll exchange money for narcotics. You know, God forbid we have something like this happen to our community and it goes south where there are disputes over cash, narcotics and it usually turns out to be violent. We want to interdict those stops before they actually occur,” said Frankland.
When not patrolling the major roadways, the officers conduct surveillance in neighborhoods.
"We want our citizens to know if they suspect their neighbors, a home in their neighborhood is trafficking narcotics let us know,” said Frankland.
One of the biggest benefits to the team isn't just finding the drugs, but tracing where they're coming from building bigger cases so they can take out the source.
"Any community, anywhere, you have narcotics trafficking going on in any city regardless of the size and you have to be prepared to deal with it and you have to be prepared to keep it out of your community to keep it the safe environment,” said Frankland.