Crime Up In Glasscock County 6/17/13
June 17, 2013
Garden City - Glasscock County has the highest rig count in Texas, with 43 oil rigs actively drilling. Even though this is great for the county’s economy, Garden City is experiencing a spike in crime. The effects of the oil boom are not always pretty and right now even though residents are calling it a "mixed blessing" the negatives far outweigh the positives by more than five hundred percent.
“We have an increase in DWI’s, we have an increase in possession charges, lots of driving with license suspended,” said Glasscock County Judge Kim Halfmann.
In just the past three years, Judge Halfmann says the traffic accident rate has increased by five hundred percent and the counties court cases by 534 percent.
“I’m not going to say that it's just the oil and gas industry that's causing that increase, it's just the sheer volume of people that are coming in and out of the county now," said Halfmann.
Since the boom started, the county has increased patrol, hired extra staff and is receiving help from DPS; but because population nearly doubles during the day, help is still needed.
“We need the extra help I mean the traffic volume is just incredible we’re experiencing growing pains is what I call them, it’s a mixed blessing, we have a great revenue stream for accounting any other taxing entities in our county as well,” said Halfmann.
Judge Halfmann say that even though traffic has increased, population hasn't, and when the drilling is complete Garden City will turn back into the small town that everyone loves.