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City of Lockney revives police department

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 10:59 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - After eight years, the community of Lockney is reviving its police force. City Manager Buster Poling says the council has been talking about reviving the department for a few years. But now, the finances fit the plan. He says it’s important for the Lockney community to have something they can call their own.

“It was definitely a neat experience to be able to build it from the ground up and it’s pretty humbling to see where it’s getting to so far,” Chief Casey Fitzwater said.

Friday, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement certified the Lockney Police Department as an agency. Chief Fitzwater has been serving as a corporal in Idalou, but started his career at the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office. The county’s been providing law enforcement services for Lockney since 2013, when the former police department was dissolved.

“We are very appreciative that the county was able to come in and help us out during the time that we needed it, but it’s just, most progressive towns have their own police department,” Poling said.

Poling says this year, city council was able to fit the department in the budget and it will apply for some grants to help cover costs. Lockney PD will start out with one chief and one officer.

“We intend on looking at this later on and adding additional officers as we need to. We’re also able to hire as many reserve officers as we can,” Fitzwater said.

The City will still work with Floyd County Sheriff’s Office to protect the community.

“And we’ll have agreements with them for backup services. We’ll help them out when they need, they’ll help us out when we need,” Poling said.

The department is in the process of getting it’s building up to speed, adding bathrooms, ADA-compliant doorways, a juvenile interview room, and an evidence room. Poling says the new department is all about community pride.

“When you know the community best, you can provide the best service. And it’s important for our police department, as we start up, to have a good relationship with the community and the schools and be a part of the community,” Poling said.

So the community can meet the new officers, the department is hosting an open house on Monday, Sept. 27 from 11 a. m. to 4 p. m. at 305 N Main St. Chief Fitzwater and a new municipal judge will be sworn in. Community members can enjoy a bouncy house and the fire department is cooking hamburgers and hot dogs.

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