Lubbock Listed Sixth Dangerous City In Nation

Written by D. Rutter – Advanced Reporting

According to Forbes Magazine, Lubbock is listed as the sixth most dangerous city in the nation.

However, not all Lubbock residents agree with the listing.

Forbes showed that Lubbock, Texas shared the title with Detroit, Mich., which is listed as the number one most dangerous city.

People like Jeffrey Lance, a local Lubbock resident and graduate of Texas Tech, find this statistic to be confusing.

“It’s definitely surprising,” Lance said. “I guess typically larger cities like New York, Chicago or Detroit come to mind when you think about dangerous places.”

However, even though the statistic is surprising to some, it does not mean it doesn’t hold any truth. Margo Lance is Jeffrey’s sister, who was assaulted in Lubbock.

“I was at home alone one day when I was about 13,” Lance said. “I heard a knock at the door so I went to answer it. When I opened the door some stranger just jumped into the house and grabbed me. I tried to fight him off and started screaming as loud as I could, luckily for me he stopped and ran away. That shook me up pretty bad as a kid.”

Still, Margo says she doesn’t feel Lubbock is as dangerous as perceived.

“Maybe it’s just because I have so many fond memories here,” Margo said. “The little incident was very scary to go through at a young age, but I still don’t feel that Lubbock is a very dangerous place in general.”

According to the report by Forbes, Lubbock has a population of about 290,000, with a reported 808 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.

Lubbock Public Information Officer Jonathan Stewart said much of the blame for the high ranking of the city could be the way the numbers are reported.

“The Lubbock Police Department wants to be totally open with our reporting methods,” Stewart said. “We don’t play games when it comes to reporting our numbers.  Other places might report their crimes in a less serious manner, which skews the numbers.”

Stewart went on to say by adding more officers is a high priority for the LPD currently. He feels that adding greater numbers to the police force will give them a larger span and influence on the city.

According to the County Health Rankings website Lubbock, Texas has had 6,656 violent crimes from 2007-2009, with a crime rate of 846.

“We don’t feel that Lubbock is a dangerous place,” Stewart said. “We’re working hard to find new officers and get them out on the street.”

Texas Tech Police Department Deputy Chief, Kenny Evans, said when it comes to statistics like that it all comes down to personal interpretation and it’s not really as bad as it seems.

“You can have a town that went from having one crime to two crimes the next year,” Evans said. “You can look at that one of two ways. You can say that simply one more crime happened, or you could say that there was a 100 percent increase that year.”

Evans said that he is from Lubbock, and doesn’t agree with the statistic.

“I grew up here my whole life,” Evans said. “I’ve never seen Lubbock as being a dangerous place at all. What makes us different from cities like Houston, Austin, or Dallas?”

Evans said that, along with the population, the crime rate was slightly growing. He doesn’t think the statistic genuinely shows the types of crimes that happen in Lubbock.

“I’d say it’s mostly non-violent crimes like burglaries that are more common here in Lubbock,” Evans said. “Lubbock is just a pass through town, so sometimes a drug bust goes down that wasn’t actually meant for Lubbock at all, but it gets put on Lubbock’s record.”

In the end Evans stressed the point that the community needs to play a more active role on improving crime in the city.

“Always be conscious of your surroundings,” Evans said. “Don’t leave any valuable electronic devices in plain sight. People need to help in reporting crimes and suspicious individuals. If we work together the crime rate could lower significantly.”

The Tech deputy chief went on to stress that even though people focus on the high negative rates that Lubbock has, that they don’t realize the vast improvement the city has made in its violent crime rate.

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