Lubbock PD proposes not responding to minor, non-injury crashes
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - While presenting the 2022 Annual Report to the Lubbock City Council on Tuesday, Lubbock Police Chief Floyd Mitchell shared with councilmembers a plan to reduce officer response to crashes considered minor with no injuries in an effort to give officers more time to focus on other priority matters.
“This is time that officers could be using doing proactive patrol, proactive enforcement and other types of crime prevention activities that we are spending on these non-injury accidents,” Chief Mitchell said. “A great deal of those are in some of our parking lots.”
In the presentation, the Lubbock Police Department calculated officers spent about an hour at each of the 5,445 crashes that had no injuries in 2022.
“We’re always careful to say we are going to reduce our services,” Chief Mitchell told the Council. “What I’m looking at is trying to increase our response to Priority 1 calls for service and Priority 2 calls for service, trying to get that four minutes and 39 seconds [response time], down to three minutes, three-and-a-half minutes, four minutes.”
LPD proposes that dispatch will direct callers involved in minor crashes to the nearest Patrol Division Station, Police Headquarters or the LPD website to get what is called a Blue Form, CR-2, or self-reporting crash report to complete.
“We would refer those people to the CR-2 Form unless someone doesn’t have driver’s license or insurance card, we’ll go facilitate the exchange of that information,” Mitchell said. “That is truly a private undertaking, all crashes, unless you’re committing a crime, is a private undertaking. We’re trying to reduce our involvement in that.”
Officers will respond to minor, non-injury crashes if they involve the following circumstances:
- injury or death / hit-and-run
- other crime
- striking critical infrastructure
- striking a building
- involving City of Lubbock or government vehicle
- no insurance or drivers license
- property or vehicle damage deemed in excess of $5,000
- vehicles carrying hazardous materials
- blocking road/highway
- citizen demands a response
Mitchell said there would be an educational campaign for citizens ahead of instituting this proposal.
“If it doesn’t work, it’s easy to say we’ll just respond to everything again,” Mitchell said. “We’d like to test it for either six months or for the remainder of 2023. We believe we could reduce our response to minor, non-injury traffic accidents by at least a third if not more.”
Mitchell asked the council to consider the proposal. If LPD moves forward with testing the new response protocol, Mitchell said it could begin in July.
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