Banks said the number of self-initiated calls for the department went up in 2015, with 58,397 self-initiated calls in the year compared to 46,138 in 2014. The five-year average for self-initiated calls is 62,747 self-initiated calls in a year.
Overall department activity[/caption]
"One thing we don't want to see is the 'Ferguson effect,' or deep policing," Banks said. "Which is when officers don't want to get out of their cars and work because they're worried about being the next YouTube sensation or the next five-o-clock highlight on the news [...] We tell [officers] to get out of your car and do the right thing."
The number of calls for service was also up compared to the previous year, with 64,461 in 2015 and 52,427 in 2014. The five-year average is 61,439 calls for service in a year.
The number of reported offenses as well as the number of felony arrests were also up from the previous year in Round Rock. There were 8,647 reported offenses in 2015 and 7,664 in 2014. There were 618 felony arrests in 2015 and 503 in 2014. However, the number of reported offenses was slightly lower in both years compared to the five-year average of 9,728. The number of felony arrests in 2015 was higher compared to the five-year average of 562 felony arrests in a year.
Banks said in 2015 the Round Rock Police Department's SWAT team was deployed in 95 total missions, including two high-risk operations and five barricaded persons operations. Banks said the department does not have a full-time SWAT team, but instead a team of officers and detectives comprise the unit and go out when the team is deployed.
"They are the unsung heroes," Banks said. "They deal with the most high-risk incidents, and when it's over we don't really talk about them."
Council Member Craig Morgan asked if its common for a city of Round Rock's size to not have a full-time SWAT team. Banks said it's not uncommon, but it would be helpful.
Morgan said he would like to see more information on what the department would need to create a full-time SWAT team.
Banks said the department is reaching out to community and religious organizations so officers can connect with community members. Banks said officers visited the Islamic Community Center as well as the One Way Baptist Church in the city.
"[Community outreach] is helping us understand what their needs are and helping them understand what our goals and our needs are," he said. "Everywhere I go I say, 'We don't do it alone as law enforcement, we do it together [with the community].'"