Proposition 4 Could Benefit Lubbock's Department of Public Safety - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/22/07

Proposition 4 Could Benefit Lubbock's Department of Public Safety

NewsChannel 11 is taking a closer look at one proposition in particular that might give Lubbock citizens a special reason to vote in this state election.

Proposition 4 would authorize up to $1 billion dollars in bonds to pay for maintenance, improvement, repair and construction projects for nine state agencies.

And part of that money would directly effect people here in Lubbock.

If passed, the Lubbock Department of Public Safety would receive $36.6 million to begin construction on a new state of the art facility.

"This building has been good to us, but we need more room and space to accommodate the population we're getting here in Lubbock," says Corporal John Gonzalez.

The final decision rests in voters hands.

Proposition 4 would authorize up to one billion dollars in bonds to pay for improvements and construction projects for nine state agencies.

If passed, $36.6 million would be used to build a 97,000 square foot DPS Regional Headquarters here in Lubbock.

The Texas Department of Public Safety moved into the location at 1302 Mac Davis Lane in 1974.

33 years later troopers say more room is needed.

If voters say yes to proposition 4 DPS troopers will get more room in the form of a 37 million dollar facility that could possibly be built at Yucca Lane and the Interstate.

"Some of the personnel are crowded into offices together and that's because we're growing as an agency," says Corporal Gonzalez.

The new facility would give DPS employees the elbow room they need to perform their jobs in a more timely manner.

Plus Corporal Gonzalez says they would finally be able to hire more troopers.

The building would also house a state of the art crime lab. Corporal Gonzales says the current crime lab is too small and lab technicians have a difficult time keeping up with the case load.

"If it's overwhelming, they have to send that evidence somewhere else to another lab to be processed because we might not have the space or the manpower to do that," says Corporal Gonzalez.

And Gonzalez says it can sometimes take months to receive those lab results.

Another thing that feels like it takes months is waiting in line for a new driver's license, but that wouldn't be the case anymore, if the new facility is built.

"This would allow us to enlarge the office, apply more personnel in that office to be able to police and help that clientele renewing licenses," says Corporal Gonzalez.

If voters choose to not pass Proposition 4, Corporal Gonzales says somehow they will make do.

"We do the best we can under the circumstances and we will continue to do the best under the circumstances, but if this proposal comes through it will be a great step for us," says Corporal Gonzalez.

Another proposition that directly effects Lubbock is Proposition 1.

The proposition asks voters to approve Angelo State's transition to the Texas Tech University system.

To clarify if Prop 1 is not passed, the transition will still take place, it simply will not be listed as an amendment to the Texas constitution.

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