LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock City Council is working on another major project, this time for the Lubbock Police Department.
It's called the Public Safety Facilities Proposal. The council wants to expand the police department into multiple buildings.
The current Lubbock Police Department headquarters is an older building. Councilman Steve Massengale says it was originally built in 1934.
The original plan was for LPD to move to City Hall once City Hall moves to Citizen's Tower, but now the plan has changed.
"It's a long trip for a lot of our citizens to come downtown. You don't always want to interact with the Police Department but when you do, you want it to be as easy and as friendly as possible," Councilman Massengale said.
It's a concept called community policing, something Councilman Massengale has done a lot of research about as chair of the City Council's Facilities Committee.
"Many cities in Texas, especially our size and larger, have gone to it. No different than we do it with our fire stations right now. It puts substations out in the neighborhood for people to interact with the police and gets them closer to the community," he said.
As the city of Lubbock continues to grow, the Council's Facilities Committee created a Public Safety Facilities Proposal to accommodate it.
The plans include a new police department headquarters downtown, a new property warehouse, a new municipal court and then three police substations to be located in East, South and North Lubbock.
"It would serve patrol in those neighborhoods, so officers would start and stop their day there. There would be a community room, and as you can imagine, a front desk there with small interview rooms so if you had something you needed to share with police you'd have a private room to visit with them in," Councilman Massengale said.
He says the addition of the substations changed the original plan to move LPD to City Hall.
"When we move to community policing, a downtown headquarters doesn't need to be 106,000 square feet like the old City Hall is now. We need about 45,000 square feet," he said.
Councilman Massengale says the current LPD building is inefficient as it is, and he feels this is long overdue.
"We just talk about this old building with deferred maintenance but we're going to have an opportunity to share the details with the public. We might even provide them a tour of this building so they can look and see the problems that it has," he said.
Of course the project comes with a price tag, an estimated $60 million, according to Councilman Massengale.
The Lubbock City Council wants to get input from citizens about it.
Thursday at the City Council meeting members will discuss this project, and ask the city manager to set up some town hall meetings for residents to come and learn more about why the council wants to do this.
We'll be sure to keep you updated on when those meetings will be.
Councilman Massengale says if the project goes through, the current police department, property warehouse and City Hall buildings would be sold.