NEW BRAUNFELS- The numbers are staggering: New Braunfels Police are reporting a significant drop in citations and arrests so far this summer compared to last.
Frequent tubers on the Comal River have also noticed a difference on the water.
"It's more kid-friendly. We saw a lot of smaller children and not a lot of people flipping each other's floats and that kind of stuff," Caitlan Binerman said.
So far this summer, police have arrested 80 people and written 332 tickets. Compare that to summer 2011, when police arrested 278 people and wrote 1,736 tickets from Memorial until Labor Day.
Those statistics include 251 minor in possession tickets in 2011, compared to 38 this year and 89 public intoxication arrests last year compared to 19 now.
Police issued 550 parking citations last year compared to 145 now and 139 open container in the park tickets were written in 2011 and just six currently.
Police attribute the big drop to a number of factors.
"Not only good policing, where a good amount of information is being put out there but a lot of families are coming here, lots of kids, where they may not have felt welcome years before because of somewhat of a party atmosphere," said Capt. Mike Penshorn. "We're having very good compliance with the ordinances. Some of the laws we looked at where we had quite a few citations, such as parking issues, there's a lot more parking."
A controversial ban on disposable cans was passed by the city council to cut down on trash in the water. So far this summer, 17 tickets have been issued for violating that ordinance.
Last year, the drought drained the Guadalupe River, sending a record number of people to the Comal. Fewer tickets were written in 2011 compared to 2010, when the rivers weren't as low, but 278 arrests were made in 2011, compared to 199 in 2010, a 40 percent increase.
The numbers for 2012 are through the end of July so with a month left before Labor Day, the numbers will increase. Other statistics include 138 minor in consumption tickets in 2011 compared to 22 now and 105 littering tickets last year in comparison to just one currently.