How LPD is keeping up with a growing population, rise in violent - FOX34 Lubbock

How LPD is keeping up with a growing population, rise in violent crimes

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The violent crime rate in Texas slightly rose in the last year. The rate has been inching up since 2015. However, according to data from the FBI, the ration of police officers to total population decreased to it's lowest level in decades. 

In 2016, there were two Texas officers to every thousand residents. Now, It is down to 1.5 officers per 1,000 residents. 

In the City of Lubbock, there are about 1.76 officers per 1,000 residents. In order to keep up with the city growth the next fiscal year, Lubbock Police would need to add about four officers. This will raise that ratio to 1.78 officers per 1,000 residents. A ration Chief Greg Stevens is comfortable with.

"Two per thousand is a good way, is a good goal to move towards so if we were trying to add 30 police officers to the budget would be incredibly expensive," Stevens said. "You know how would be pay for that. You have to raise taxes, bring in revenue somehow. Plus, how do you fill those 30 new positions and right now recruiting is very difficult." 

Stevens said false narratives surrounding law enforcement nationwide are to blame. However, he believes the relationship between police and the community in Lubbock is something to be proud of. 

"I think we have strong support from our elected officials, strong support from our city management," Stevens said. "The fact that they're going to add ten positions, which again more than doubles what our growth is in comparison to our population growth.. we're in a good situation."

When it comes to the rise in violent crimes, Stevens said it is an issue very department across the nation is having to deal with. 

"We're really doing a really good job as a police department as a community in one that trend upwards in violent crime and really of all crime, property crimes and everything, but also with a very fast growing city," Stevens said.

Steven adds, the goal is to eventually reach the two per 1,000 ratio. His concern is keeping up with the constant growth of the city. 

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