Sheriff budget request focuses on more employees

Reported by: Henry Ramos
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Updated: 8/09/2012 1:40 pm

Lubbock Sheriff Deputies who patrol our county are facing a bit of a challenge.

Lubbock County Commissioner Gilbert Flores said, "We are operating on budgets and revenues since 1980. This is 2012 things have changed a lot."

County Sheriff Kelly Rowe addressed three problems facing his department to Lubbock County Commissioners on Wednesday.

The challenges: competitive pay, staffing shortages, and facility needs.

"We have got to have an environment that not only helps us in recruiting, but more importantly retention so that we keep quality staff, both in law enforcement and our corrections division," Rowe said.

Another problem is the 20 percent turnover rate. The Sheriffs office is losing its employees to other law enforcement agencies here in Lubbock.

County Commissioner Bill McCay said, "In comparison the starting pay for Lubbock Sheriff's office is a bit less that its competitors, DPS, LPD, and Tech."

The Lubbock Police pays the most in town, rookies earn $42,000 dollars a year. Texas Department of Public Safety starts its troopers after graduation, about $39,000. Texas Tech a little more than $33,000.

They're all greater and more enticing than the $31,000 a new deputy makes.

"The challenge is how to fund what we know is needed in the community, McCay said. "We all want a safe community to live in so how do we fund that at the current level of revenue."

"We raise the tax rate, we don't want to do that, but we may have too to meet that demand, Flores said.

Judge Tom Head said, "We need to give the Sheriff everything he is asking for, even if it means raising taxes. We've just got to do it." 

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