Sheriff Kelly Rowe Talks Jails, County Budget and Homicides [Interview]
Wednesday on KFYO Mornings with Dave King and Matt Martin, Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe joined Matt and Dave to talk about several issues in Lubbock County, including information on how jailing is working, the sheriff's department's budget and county commissioners, the number of homicides in Lubbock county, wearing face masks, the state legislative session, and more.
The conversation started when Sheriff Rowe was asked how the jails are working with the current pandemic. Rowe explained that diseases are not uncommon in jails across the country, and that they are prepared to deal with them, and do everyday. UMC is on site and helps manage everything.
The county jail has had protocols in place to deal with viruses since the first Lubbock case of COVID-19 back in March. Rowe went on to explain that everyone going into the building is screened for the virus, including the individuals who were arrested, as well as the officers who made the arrests.
Rowe also receives a report on who is infected every morning. One big downside with the virus spread is that they've had to suspend visitation and not have any religious rehabilitative and educational programming since they cannot let volunteers inside.
Sheriff Rowe also talked about the County Commissioners and the plans for the budget. The sheriff's department's primary focus is an increase in salaries and pay scale, but the court has not increased their pay as they had hoped, and it has caused the department to fall behind other local agencies.
Rowe explained that because of this, they're constantly losing people to other local agencies.
"We've got to stop that from occurring," said Rowe. "Otherwise, you know, we're losing every bit of our highly trained experienced people out for, what is in most common of cases, an immediate 25 percent pay increase."
When asked what the biggest thing that they are looking at is right now, Rowe reinforced that they want quality individuals with training who are being safe and successful, and that right now, that issue "kind of trumps everything else."
Rowe also discussed the department's preparation for the upcoming state legislative session. He explained that with the current social climate in the U.S. and the kinds of things that many people are demanding, that they're expecting some kind of police reform, saying, "This could literally change the face of how we professionally police in the United States." Rowe said that with all these calls for reform, you have to have high-quality people.
Watch the full interview with Sheriff Kelly Rowe in the video above.