ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The overall crime rate across the state has dropped by 8.3 percent. A new report by The Department of Public Safety reflects that last year was the second year in a row where criminal activity decreased in Texas.
Randall Noe is one of 13 DPS officers in Angelina County who are dedicated to fighting crime in the Pineywoods and the state.
"I'm helping protect family and friends here in my own community," said Noe.
Everyday, his hard work pays off.
"We've been able to seize drugs. I've been able to seize guns just from a normal regular traffic stop," said Noe.
Across the state, DPS is seeing a significant drop in major crime rates for the second year in a row.
"Measured crime includes about eight categories. It includes murder, sexual assault, aggravated assault, things of that nature," said DPS Spokesman David Hendry.
Violent crime rates dropped 9.3 percent while property crimes decreased by 8.2 percent last year. To better catch criminals, Trooper Noe says it's important to "look beyond each stop".
"You may stop someone for a tail light out. And, while you're speaking with them, see other indicators of criminal activity whether there's items in the vehicle, things they say where their story doesn't seem to make sense. That can lead you to ask more questions, and that's how we'll get drug seizures, money seizures, apprehend violent felons or fugitives," said Noe.
Hendry says the success of DPS is also dependent on other local law enforcement agencies and the use of technology, such as social media.
"Oftentimes, when someone knows they're wanted in a certain county, they will flee to a different county in an effort to try to avoid being apprehended. We have technology that allows us to locate where those people are, where they may be, and also who they may be staying with," said Hendry.
Officials anticipate crime rates will continue declining as heavy enforcement and the use of technology increases.
These rates are compiled of numbers provided from local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, making up the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Currently, these statistics don't include crimes like extortion, human trafficking, and kidnapping. Greater participation in the system would better reflect those numbers.