LPD using money from seized funds account to purchase new vehicles

Updated: May. 25, 2017 at 6:05 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock Police Department is about to purchase six new vehicles, but only two of them will be bought with tax dollars.

Lubbock City Council is set to approve the funding of six new police vehicles Thursday night, but four of those vehicles are being paid for using money from their seized funds account.

The police department can seize money in a variety of ways: during a traffic stop, while implementing a search warrant or while serving a warrant.

But there are quite a few steps before LPD can use that money.

"Once that money is seized, we actually don't do anything with it," said Tiffany Pelt, Public Information Officer for the Lubbock Police Department. "It's stored. We don't touch it, we don't use it, we actually have to file paperwork through the District Attorney's Office and the only way that we can use or take full custody of that property is if it's awarded to us by the court."

Once LPD is awarded the money, police administration can use the it for things they see a need for but that may have not been budgeted for.

"This is just one more way to really better LPD and make sure our officers have what they need," Pelt said.

This year, LPD has seen a need for additional police vehicles.

The police department does not normally purchase vehicles through this account, but the city has recently moved toward purchasing vehicles with cash instead of leasing, and with the need for updated vehicles, LPD felt like using money from the seized funds account was appropriate.

"It does not come out of taxpayer funding," said Councilman Jeff Griffith. "It's really a major advantage that we're able to utilize these dollars to help staff with our vehicular needs with our police department."

Although, LPD says this will not be the norm going forward.

Future purchases made through this account could be used for equipment, uniforms, vests and facility improvements.

Purchases made through this account still have to follow the same rules and regulations when it comes to spending with the city.

"We still have to be good stewards, and make sure that's it being used properly, that it's being used for what it needs to be used for," Pelt said.

Two of the vehicles from this purchase will be used for traffic enforcement and two will be used for crime investigation.

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