New website lets residents search crime and arrest data across Hays County
Hays County has launched a website for local law enforcement to share crime and arrest data with residents. County officials say the system will help agencies tackle crime and give residents access to important information about where they live.
Citizens Connect allows residents to search through data from the Hays County Sheriff's Office, San Marcos Police Department, Kyle Police Department, Buda Police Department and Texas State University Police Department all in one website.
The site includes everything from reports of burglar alarms going off to traffic violations to drug offenses and assaults. There are also tools to help users see trends over time.
Stephanie Robinson, director of the county's Combined Emergency Communications Center, said although there are boundaries between each department's jurisdiction, there's a lot of overlap.
Hays County's population has doubled in the last 10 years, and cities along the I-35 corridor have continued to grow closer together.
"We maybe work in one city and live in the county or work in the county and live in the city," she said. "So why not give all that information in one centralized location?"
Robinson said her department often gets questions about what neighborhood activity or crime rates around certain schools look like. She said the database could help people make informed decisions when moving to or within Hays County.
Local law enforcement officials have said they support the database and believe it will help them be more transparent with the communities they serve.
"All this information is now at the fingertips of individuals looking for current crime trends in their area and beyond," Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler said.
Hays County residents can also sign up for daily, weekly or monthly alerts as part of the new website. Users can receive emails with information on arrests or incidents within a selected area.