East Patrol Division Station opens in effort to decentralize Lubbock Police Department
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Lubbock Police Department opened its first of three patrol division stations Monday as part of the Public Safety Improvement Plan, which aims to decentralize the LPD and upgrade its facilities.
“We have taken an important step to obtaining that goal,” East Patrol Division Commander Jason Skrabanek said. “Decentralization is a key component to community policing. This helps make police services and officers more easily accessible to the public. Instead of having just one police headquarters located downtown, there’ll be a division station in east, north and south Lubbock. It is more than just about policing a neighborhood. It is about becoming a part of that community.”
The Public Safety Improvement Plan introduced in 2017 dedicated $60 million to build three substations, a new police headquarters, municipal court and property room. Ground was broken on the East 19th Street and Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard station in November of 2019, costing about $6.9 million.
“The labor of what you see here today started long ago with the idea from city, community and police leaders to become better,” Chief Floyd Mitchell said. “To not stand still on the past accomplishments and progress, but to forge ahead to invest not only in our police department but to invest in its relationship with our community, to invest and potentially sow the seeds of economic investment and development in the area with such a rich history in such abundant, untapped opportunity.”
The facility will house 94 sworn personnel and three civilians. The officers assigned there will be dispatched from the new location. The 11,183 square feet include space for community events and meetings.
“I’m excited because this moves us forward,” District 2 Councilwoman Shelia Patterson Harris said. “I envision so many more folks coming to this space, so many more things come into this space because we developed a partnership in this area of the city. We’re going to show everybody else how it gets done.”
Rose Wilson had the honor of holding the giant scissors that cut the ribbon during a ceremony Monday. The 93-year-old told KCBD she’s lived in Lubbock since 1955.
“I love this part of town,” Wilson said. “I’m thankful for what happened here today. It’s all because of the good Lord and those that he gives a promise to.”
She said she’s been engaged in advocating for East Lubbock, including when the city council moved to single-member districts. She feels happy to be a part of this next step in bettering every community.
“I know that I can call on someone when danger is knocking at my door,” Wilson said. “I know what to do and I’m just thankful we got this place over here. Thank you to the chief that’s gonna be watching over our neighborhood and I will stop a car going by and say thank you. Whatever officer I see in my neighborhood, in East Lubbock, wherever, if he’ll slow down long enough to listen to me.”
She’s referencing a call from Councilwoman Patterson Harris for officers and community members to greet each other in this new partnership.
“Officers, when you pass by somebody who’s waving we’ll stop and tell them hello,” Patterson Harris told the crowd. “Folks in the community, when you see that black and white driving down your neighborhood, flag them down and let them know who you are. That’s how we make things happen.”
The other two patrol division stations are located at 140th Street and Indiana Avenue as well as North Frankford and Erskine Street. Both are currently under construction.
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