LUBBOCK, spent two hours riding along with Sgt. Greg Treharne from the Lubbock County Sheriff’s office Thursday to get insight into what a rapidly growing county looks like through an officer’s eyes.

Deputies feel stretched thin and recently asked county commissioners for more officers out on the streets to join them as more people move into Lubbock County and 911 calls increase.

Deputies watch over 900 square miles and typically have about six deputies patrolling the county at once. Sgt. Treharne said it would be ideal for LCSO to have at least 10 deputies on a shift at once.

Lubbock County Commissioners denied the request.

“It’s constant. It’s a constant working thing and even when I’m off, I still got to think about scheduling or if somebody gets sick … we still have to make sure that we have enough coverage on shift to support the call load,” Treharne said.

Treharne said the deputies wear many hats on their shifts. They can be anything from a marriage counselor to a shoulder for someone to cry on, depending on the situation. When they’re called to a scene, they never know what they are going to see.

“People like to use the word routine traffic stop or routine call but nothing’s really routine,” Treharne said. “You kind of prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario and when it doesn’t happen and everything turns out all right in the end … it gives you a little sigh of relief.”

However, sometimes the worst does happen. A traffic stop could turn into the sound of locked handcuffs if the person has an arrest warrant. In other cases, they watch tragedy happen.

The deputies at LCSO find time to decompress once their day is over, but Sgt. Treharne said due to understaffing, there isn’t too much time off to do that.

“You really just keep going throughout your shift and as soon as you clock out and you get to the house, that’s when you get to decompress and think about the day you had,” Treharne said.

However, Treharne said he and his coworkers get through the tough days together. He said they’ve turned into family.

Treharne said he wouldn’t trade his job, despite any difficulties. At the end of the day, he hopes to do a thorough service for Lubbock County and make sure his partners get home safe to their families.