LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Tuesday’s virtual work session with councilmembers highlighted a busy year for the Lubbock Police Department with a 105 percent increase in homicides from the year prior and councilmembers discussed the future of the vaccine in Lubbock, saying a growing and steady number of vaccines will make their way to the Hub City.
Lubbock Police Chief Floyd Mitchell and other leaders spoke on violent crimes against persons such as rape, robbery and aggrivated assault, saying the numbers went down and so did property crimes. Property crimes decreased by 11 percent with more than 11 thousand calls responded to. Lubbock Police leaders attributed this to more people at home during the pandemic.
Over the last twelve months, it was reported the average response time for priority one calls was averaged at seven minutes and five seconds compared to 2019 when it was averaged at seven minutes and 43 seconds.
Lubbock police also expressed their need for more recruits, saying they need to fill 22 law enforcement positions and 14 non-sworn positions, which include dispatchers.
The North, South, and East Patrol Division Stations are 45, 50, and 55 percent complete respectively. The East Patrol Division station will be the first to open this summer with staff including at least one deputy chief at each station, three lieutenants, and 12 sargeants and at least 60 corporals and officers.
Lubbock police leaders also reported a decline in traffic crashes from 8,903 in 2019 to 8,039 in 2020, noting there were 26 fatalities from traffic accidents in 2020. It’s a number that went down from 51 fatalities in 2019.
Additionally, the schedule was changed for officers to go from ten hour shifts to eight hour shifts and two consecutive days off instead of three days off.
Towards the end of work session, discussion on the current journey of the vaccine took place and there was also a conversation about the future.
Jarrett Atkinson, the City Manager, said if you’ve already had your first dose you are guaranteed to get your second dose, saying the second dose has already begun to be administered to front-line workers, who got their first dose before the public.
In Lubbock, 5,000 doses have been received to administer to Lubbockites this week at vaccination clinics. Atkinson said you can expect this commitment to be the same for upcoming weeks.
Atkinson said Lubbock has been named a “hub provider” by the Department of State Health services, saying the state is shifting towards lesser numbers of locations around the state administering the vaccine, but those areas are given more of the vaccine to fulfill the area populations.
Looking towards the future, Atkinson said the goals of the Lubbock Health Department are to host mass vaccination clinics and try and administer 2,000 vaccinations a day depending on the supply and start coordinating with Texas Tech University, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, Covenant Medical Center, University Medical Center, United and more.