Councilman Griffith Talks Crime Data, Police Budget and Recruiting, & May 1st Election
Wednesday on KFYO Mornings with Dave King and Matt Martin, Lubbock City Councilman Jeff Griffith joined Dave and Matt to talk about last night's city council meeting, crime statistics in Lubbock, police budget and recruiting, the Future Needs Committee, the May 1st election, charter review, and more.
The Councilman started the discussion by talking about crime data and statistics in Lubbock. Griffith said that there have been many crimes against business properties, as businesses have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and therefore a lot of unoccupied businesses. However, burglary of residences has been down since most people have been at home. Crimes against people has also seen a bit of an uptick, and the pattern of gun store robberies seems to have been stopped. Griffith said that the date has been all over the place this year.
Another topic of discussion was the Lubbock police department and their recruitment process. Griffith was asked if the police are recruiting enough people right now. The Councilman said that there was a recent recruitment of only 8 people, and he thinks that it has become an issue due to what is going on nationally right now. Despite this, Lubbock is not running low on police. Additionally, Griffith has data on the pay rates for police officers in various Texas cities, and is looking at what needs to be done budget wise in order to retain officers. He went on to say that, for him personally, increasing the police budget will be a point going forward as Lubbock continues to grow, and therefore public safety needs grow. "We know that the city is going to keep growing, and we've got to continue to add to our forces," Griffith said.
Griffith also talked about the recent vote concerning the need for roads and a fire station in Lubbock. The Councilman said that this is an important issue for him, as he is the chairman of the Future Needs Committee, working along with a couple of other council members. They have been studying the needs of Lubbock across the city for several months now, and have been meeting almost every week. The main issue seems to be focusing on paving several dirt roads around the city. Griffith said they have looked at how many residents live on various dirt streets, and have been embarrassed on the state of the roads, saying they should have been paved decades ago. The price of the proposed work would be about $9 million, although he doesn't want to hurt the tax rate.
Councilman Griffith was also asked about the ordinance that is being voted on in the May 1st election, and if it were to pass and there was a situation with a lawsuit, what the process would be. Griffith said that he does not want to address that kind of thing until after the vote potentially passes. He did state, however, that they do not currently have an attorney appointed.
Listen to the full interview with Councilman Jeff Griffith in the video above.