INTERVIEW: Jim Gerlt expresses public safety plans

INTERVIEW: Jim Gerlt expresses public safety plans

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Public Safety

Running for reelection in the Lubbock City Council, incumbent Jim Gerlt, discusses his plans for public safety.

Lubbock Police Department is currently having an officer shortage, he says.

"We're changing the way we're doing recruiting, we're trying to do a better job of recruiting. We're changing the way we're doing testing."

Lubbock is becoming more known statewide and this will help attract more officers for the LPD, Gerlt said.

"It's an ongoing recruiting process that we have to do," he said. "We're competitive in pay, we're the top 10 paid in the state."

Changes to EMS

Gerlt says from a financial standpoint, Lubbock Fire Rescue should not take over EMS.

"Let me tell you, EMS has done a very good job over the last 20 some odd years," he said. "I actually rode with EMS a few weeks ago and looked at some of their facilities, looked at all the investment they've got, so I think they've got a good system in place."

With issues of hidden taxes, Gerlt said he's trying to maintain a balance with keeping taxes low but also taking care of the public's needs.

"At the last budget cycle, I brought a motion that raised taxes," Gerlt said. "If you're in a $200,000 home, it raised your taxes $2.60 a month. But by doing that, we were able to shave the franchise fee, the taxes that they've talked about, able to lower those from 6 percent to 5 percent. That has a ripple effect." 

Elections for mayor and city council will be held May 7.

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