The Lubbock Police Department works hard to keep Lubbock safe. Many times they face dangerous and even life-threatening situations that can be traumatic to the officers. That's where Andy Young and the Victim Services Crisis Team come in to help.
"We're on call 24/7, and there are about 40 people on my squad," Young said. "We can deal with a lot of different situations and be available all the time as needed."
When Officer Timothy Varner was shot on Saturday night, the team was there to spring into action.
"Some of my people were with the family of the officer who was hurt," Young said. "There were some witnesses that were involved and we were available to them, and then, of course, the officers themselves as they needed it."
Helping people is not a one-time job. Young said often times his crew will follow up with a person they help and refer them to services they need for the long-term, and many times they are simply there to talk.
"[We are] mainly helping them process what they've been through," Young said, "try and mitigate how the traumatic event affects them."
Sgt. Jason Lewis with the LPD is one of the many officers who has spoken with the crisis team. He sought their help after particularly difficult cases he's worked, involving such things as domestic violence and stabbing. Lewis said he is extremely grateful for the work they do.
"They come out and they visit with families and children and whoever needs it to kind of walk you through the process that they're going to be going through and help them grieve," he said. "They really do whatever is needed."
Young said the worst part about his work with the crisis team is that it's not somebody's best day when he speaks with them. Officers and witnesses are dealing with a lot of grief and pain, especially if someone has died. Even with that, he said the volunteer work is a labor of love.
"All of us like working with law enforcement," he said. "And being able to assist somebody on their worst day is also something that we all take very seriously, but also value being able to help people in that way."
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