City Council to vote on agreement between LP&L, LSO and DA's Off - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

City Council to vote on agreement between LP&L, LSO and DA's Office

(source: KCBD) (source: KCBD)
LP&L Building (KCBD File Photo) LP&L Building (KCBD File Photo)

It's a balance between customer privacy and allowing law enforcement to do their job.

This week, the Lubbock City Council will vote on an agreement that would allow licensed Lubbock County law enforcement officials from the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office and District Attorney's office to access certain information from the Lubbock Power and Light Utility Database.

This week's City Council agenda says the purpose of this access is to get information to help locate wanted suspects in active criminal investigations.

After careful drafting of this agreement, the Electric Utility Board feels the restrictions put in place are fair for both LP&L customers and Lubbock County law enforcement.

Attorney and Electric Utility Board member Charles Dunn says in this agreement, law enforcement would be escorted in and out of LP&L, and the information they can access would be limited to four things.

"When they access the computer, the screen will only show them the name of the customer, the address, the phone number and any electric usage that they use, the amount of units. There's no other information that they can get, financial, payment information, anything of that nature," Dunn said.

Dunn says officials would not be able to print or make a copy of that information.

He says these boundaries were created because the board didn't want to allow county law enforcement full access into the database.

Dunn says they knew the limited access was important.

"They had an initial agreement that was presented to the board, and I pulled it from the agenda because I didn't think it was restrictive enough. I wanted more protections for the customer of LP&L, but at the same time allow law enforcement to do their job. Because they have a duty and an obligation to the citizens of Lubbock to do their job, and we want to help them do that," Dunn said.

Dunn says county law enforcement officials can access only those four items from the Utility Database (customer name, customer telephone number, customer address, and volume or units of utility usage) to help capture identified suspects in active criminal investigations.

Something he says city law enforcement officials can already do.

"It's a city-owned database, so Lubbock County does not have access to it without our permission," Dunn said.

"We wanted to protect the privacy of our customers foremost, but we also wanted to allow law enforcement to do their job and we felt like this was a fair agreement that would allow both of those things."

We reached out to the Lubbock County's Sheriff's office to find out how this access might help in their investigations.

They say they don't want to comment until city council votes to approve or reject the measure on Thursday.

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