BASTROP COUNTY, Texas — Those who live in Bastrop County can now leave tips anonymously via a new tip line.
It’s a collaboration between the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office and police departments across the county to increase drug enforcement.
"Some of the criminals that are in the county are also in the city, and those in the city are in the cities of Elgin and Smithville, so it just makes sense to maximize your resources and work as a team," said James Altgelt, chief of police for Bastrop.
"I know there are some areas that are bad and I tend to stay away from those," said Nickie Burmaster, who moved to Smithville seven years ago from Houston.
Bastrop County Sheriff Maurice Cook says in the past month alone, they've executed an abnormal amount of search warrants and the majority of them resulting in drug busts.
"We've had at least 10," he said.
He says they're working hard to deter criminals, but need the community's help.
"It boils down to the fact that we don't have the resources out there that some of the major cities and some of the higher populated areas have," he said.
They hope to accomplish more through the new tip line.
"We will not call or try to identify and simply be able to give information on narcotics," said Cook.
When callers call they will hear an automated message followed by a beep. Cook says no one will answer the call, so those who would like to leave a tip, but don't feel comfortable talking to someone won't have to worry about that.
For Burmaster, this brings some comfort.
"That's a constant fear for me that it will get into the school and it will affect them," she said.
She hopes the anonymity will encourage people to report issues in their neighborhood.
"If anonymous people don't have to give their names," she said, "they don't have to worry about retaliation; it'll be a lot easier they might get more information from people."
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