LUBBOCK, Texas – On Tuesday, the Lubbock Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team received the Volunteer Center of Lubbock’s 2019 “Outstanding Organization” award.
Also known as the “HOT Team”, officers and their therapy dog “Justice” are known for their work around the city, such as providing coats to the homeless in winter, assisting with medical care, and helping people find permanent homes.
“Towns our size generally don’t have homeless outreach teams but we’re unique,” said Sargent Steven Bergen.
Four years ago, Bergen said he decided to leave LPD’s homicide unit and lead the HOT team after working the murder case of a homeless man.
“Police had contact with this individual before the incident and maybe there could’ve been some kind of change or difference,” Bergen said.
Bergen said the ultimate honor is being able to impact the community in the best ways possible.
“Arresting people and putting them in jail isn’t gonna solve the homeless issue,” Bergen said. “We need housing and all kinds of different assistance to help and solve those kind of issues.”