Sheriff Kelly Rowe Talks Big Budget Cuts and Crime Increase
Tuesday on KFYO Mornings with Dave King and Matt Martin Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe joined Dave and Matt to talk about the Lubbock County Commissioners cutting the sheriff's department's budget over $2 million, as well as increase in crime rates over time.
In the wake of the Lubbock County Commissioners budget being cut over 2 million dollars, Sheriff Kelly Rowe talked about the situation of what the Sheriff's department will do and the changes that will need to be made. The Sheriff received a memo that told him that employees will not get raises, and that most new requested positions would be denied with the lowering of the budget. Rowe explained that normally, he would have been approached beforehand and had a discussion about what needs to be cut for the budget to work each year, but that this did not happen this time.
"I've never seen an arbitrary, you know, here's a memo, it's done, it's finished."
The Sheriff went on to say that the sheriff's department was previously hoping to upgrade their radio systems, and be able to cycle out old cars and armor. "Law enforcement, sheriff's office, police department, fire department: we're equipment driven professions. So we work very very hard each year to ensure that we don't create bubbles in the system with regard to cycling equipment out," Rowe explained.
Rowe was then asked where he thinks the money is going, and if employees would have to be laid off in order for the department to function. The Sheriff said that he is not aware where the money is going, but that the sheriff's department has really tried to keep the budget flat this year. They have had to have slight increases with inflation, but have found opportunities to reduce other costs. Rowe assured that the department will still function and will not have to lay off any employees, saying, "the big concern is, are we going to be able to function next year? Absolutely." The main problem that will arise is projects that will have to be pushed down the road, and will end up costing more as equipment wears down over time.
Watch the full interview with Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe in the video above.