Sheriff Rowe Discusses County Jail, Budget, & Gang Activity
Monday on KFYO Mornings with Dave King and Matt Martin, the Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe joined Dave and Matt to talk about the state of the county jail, vaccines for inmates, their budget, border crossings, crime in Lubbock county, gang numbers, and more.
The Sheriff started the conversation by talking about the Lubbock County Jail. Rowe stated that things have been interesting, because he expected the population to be very high, even backing up the jail, but that has not been the case, with the facility dipping into some new lows compared to the last 3-5 years. Rowe went on to say that things have been pretty stable out there, but as COVID-19 calms down, he expects the county to process more people into the jail. Keeping on the COVID-19 topic, Rowe said that they have been handling about 1-5 positive cases per day, but that nothing has gotten too serious, and that infectious diseases are to be expected in any large detention center. When asked if any inmates have gotten a vaccine yet, the sheriff said that none have yet, but that, "when that begins to happen, when that becomes available, they'll have access to it."
Another topic of discussion was the budget, where the sheriffs department was recently able to get a bit more money for their deputies. Rowe said that everything has been going pretty well so far with the budget. He did note a reduction in attrition, and said that they still have more work to do especially with being competitive with other agencies with the hopes of retaining their employees, but said that "It's a matter of doing what we can, where we can." The sheriff commented that the commissioners court has been very good and easy to work with, that they have been very pro-county, going on to say that he is curious what priorities we will see budget wise in the future.
Finally, the Sheriff was asked what gang activity is looking like right now in Lubbock. Rowe explained that Lubbock and the south plains area currently has about 60 gangs, and among those, 1,800 registered gang members. The Sheriff did stress that gang activity still has a lot to do with drugs and drug trafficking, and that the problem could get worse with more relaxed border policies, which seem to be on the horizon.
Watch the full interview with Sheriff Kelly Rowe in the video above.