Curtis Parrish Talks Sheriff’s Department Pay Raises & Federal Funding for Lubbock
Tuesday on KFYO Mornings with Dave King and Matt Martin, Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish joined Dave and Matt to talk about COVID-19 deaths, what was done to prevent the spread of COVID-19, raising the sheriff's budget, federal funding for Lubbock county, an update on the Lubbock County Expo Center, and more.
One question that the Judge was asked was about pay raises for the Sheriff's department, and what they plan to do. Parrish said that, in the last 2 budget sessions that he has been involved with as County Judge, it has been his goal to increase the salaries of officers. The Judge explained that in previous years they have been able to add a new patrol unit, provide salary increases for deputies, and infuse over $1.5 million into the sheriff's department for salaries. He went on to say, however, that it is not just about salaries, but also incentives as an effort to retain deputies and make them want to move up the ranks so that they don't run off to another area after their training is complete. Curtis said,
It's identifying good officers, training them well, and then retaining them.
Another question that Parrish was asked about concerned the federal funding for Lubbock county for COVID-19, and how much money they were given. The Judge answered that the money is coming from the American Recovery Plan Act who gave money to every county based on their population, and that Lubbock was given $60.232 million. He went on to explain that the treasury department came out with guidelines on what counties are allowed to spend money on, but have since gone into the process of revising those guidelines, and so the county is waiting to find out what they can spend the money on between water, sewer, broadband internet infrastructure, and making up for COVID loses. The County is currently looking at their budget for the next fiscal year, and then they have to focus on redistricting, but after that, sometime in the fall, they will be able to come up with a plan for how to spend the money.
Finally, The Judge was asked for an update on the Lubbock county expo center. Parrish explained that they plan to meet today at noon with the citizen's board who has been overseeing the planning and construction of the expo center. He went on to say that the main thing that funds the arena is the hotel occupancy tax, however, that suffered quite a bit once the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Despite this, Lubbock county has been able to rebound significantly, and is now doing very well, with people coming to Lubbock, construction going on, and the prices of certain materials coming down.
Listen to the full interview with County Judge Curtis Parrish in the audio above.