LUBBOCK, Texas – Lubbock Police Chief Floyd Mitchell stepped up to speak with City Council on a change to the City budget to go towards handling juvenile crime in Tuesday’s Special City Council Meeting.

“The population growth that you have seen within the city of Lubbock comes with its issues. It comes with parents, our absentee parents, which results in some of the crime we see with our juveniles,” said Chief Mitchell. 

The City of Lubbock has seen an increased rate in Juvenile crime since January, according to the Lubbock Police Department. 

“We completely understand that these parents sometimes are at work and they’re single parents and they can’t be with all their children, but it is causing a safety issue for our community at large,” said Chief Mitchell.

Chief Juvenile Probation Officer William Carter said referrals for Juvenile offenders have gone up over 30% since January, with the number of felony offenses increasing by 33%. 

“We’d have over the past three, four years seen a really high increase in weapons offenses and felony drug offenses,” said Carter. 

Carter said the Juvenile Justice center is currently at full capacity of Juveniles awaiting trial and LPD is currently working on filling vacancies they have in their department. 

“One of the things that we have struggled with is filling the perpetual vacancies that we have because I think we could do so much more if we could just get full. We have never been full with certified police officers,” said Chief Mitchell. 

Chief Mitchell states that the Juvenile curfew has not been enforced, hoping to allocate more officers towards that with additional funding for a Juvenile Curfew Enforcement Program.