LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - You may have noticed a new Lubbock Police Department Mustang driving around, a few of our Facebook fans did and wanted us to look into who was driving it and why.
KCBD interviewed officials with the Lubbock Police Department today and we learned there will eventually be three of them patrolling the streets of Lubbock, enforcing traffic laws, to help lower the number of traffic accidents.
"Lubbock has a high number of traffic accidents for the size of our city. We have too many fatalities, we have too many traffic crashes, and so addressing those issues has got to be traffic enforcement. And that what these vehicles are for," said LPD Chief Greg Stevens.
He says these vehicles are more like LPD motorcycles, specifically for traffic enforcement. These new vehicles will not be transporting prisoners, and they do not need all of the equipment of a normal LPD unit.
They have one ready and are waiting for two more to arrive. They will put them out in the field in the next couple of months.
"They'll be out during the night time, the motorcycle units enforce traffic law during the day, so at night we need something that's a little safer, it doesn't take all the training that goes into motorcycle officers. These are very cost effective, they're much cheaper than a traditional police vehicle, a Tahoe or something like that," said Stevens.
Chief Stevens said at least two of the new traffic vehicles were bought with seized funds.
"So we can thank our local drug dealers for buying these traffic enforcement vehicles for us, and the way I kind of like to frame that is, it's nice that our drug dealers are going to finally, at some point, make our streets a little more safe for us. And that's really, if you look at that the long way through, that's what's going to be the ultimate result of some of the things we've seized, finances and property that we seize and auction off from those types of investigations," he said.
Initially, the nighttime traffic enforcement squad will be a four-person unit and they will be fielded in a month or two.
"The goal isn't to just write a bunch of traffic tickets, that doesn't really serve a big purpose. We want to reduce traffic crashes, we want to reduce traffic fatalities. So that's the salient point, we want these officers that are eventually going to be assigned to this unit, to focus on where traffic crashes occur, where we're having fatalities, where we're having injuries and property damage, and to go into these areas and try to slow people down, watch the red light runners, watch the stop sign runners, things like that. And more than anything, make a presence and have a good deterrent effect."