Lubbock Police Department's Crisis Team

Posted: Jul 12, 2016 10:24 PM EDT

LUBBOCK, Texas -  Police officers wake up each morning not knowing what they will face. 

"You're going to see a lot of bad things, things you can't un-see, things you're going to think about at night and it will reappear in dreams. You've got to have somebody and outlet that you can talk to about those things and not everybody understands what the officers are going through and how to deal with those issues," Lubbock Police Sgt. Lowell Owens.

The Lubbock Police Department's Critical Incidents Management Team has been around for 16 years. 

Andy Young, the coordinator of the Critical Incidents Management Team at LPD, went through the training in 2000. "I think we had a number of officers go through the training before July 13, 2001, when we had one officer killed in the line of duty," he said.

Owens said he was "actually on the department during those times and it was a very difficult time. We had two officers, several years ago, that were killed within a week a part of each other and during those times it was just the beginning stages of the existing crisis team that we have now and I believe that was the time we realized we really needed something in place and available for these guys."

The Crisis Team opens the door for discussion.  "It's a camaraderie that you can sit down and visit with people that have been through what you've been through," Owens said.

The team assists anytime they are needed. They are there "for the officers on patrol, for everything from a domestic disturbances to where they need counseling, to accidents with injuries, deceased persons, the team is available to come out and help them at anytime there's an issue or somebody needs someone to talk to," Owens said.

There are currently 40 officers on the Crisis Team, "who are able to assist other officers one on one as the needs arise and then a large scale incident like what happened in Dallas happens we have a lot of people that we can call on from other agencies to come up here and help us and we are available to go to other places and help them," Young said.

 "To have somebody else that can relate to you and listen to you and understand at the same level of what you do is vitally important to their well-being for their mental stability and officers see some bad things in their career and that's just the way it is that's the nature of the job we do but knowing there is a a place you can go and people you can talk to is a big help to them," Owens said.

The LPD Crisis Team assisted in Odessa after the death of three officers in 2007. 

"I reached out to Dallas police department to see if there was anything we could do," Young said.

"The whole week after the incident impacts people and the incident kind of carries on even after the immediate threat is over and the funerals are a part of that to it's not until a couple days after the funeral that everyone will kinda let down and take a breathe and that's the best time to give people a chance to process what they have been through," Young said.

"You've gotta give it some time and have to let us grieve like anybody else, after a period of time then it's time to come together and talk about what you're going through," Owens said.

Young said a crisis team will probably start speaking with Dallas Police officers at least two days after the last funeral. 

Posted on September 14, 2016 .

Researchers studying how longer shifts affect LPD officers

Posted: Jun 09, 2016 9:39 PM EDT

Earlier this year, Lubbock Police Department's patrol division lengthened its shift hours to address manpower issues. It switched from eight-hour to 12-hour shifts.

"By going to the 12-hour shift, we can spread out more officers throughout the city and more officers on duty at one time," LPD Lt. Ray Mendoza said.

"If I was on duty, I would love it," City Councilman and former LPD officer Floyd Price said. 

Council voted Thursday to allow two doctoral investigators to research how these longer hours affect officer performance through February 2019. Texas Tech University professor Megan Thoen and Lubbock Christian University professor Andy Young said their research is not to tell LPD what's right or wrong, it is to protect the well-being of those on the force.

"They're working long shifts, they're having a long change at work, anything like that can affect a person's home life, it can affect their job performance so it seems wise to try and see how a change affects a person at their job," Young said. "It seems always wise when there's a systemic change in a police officer's life or anybody's life, you want to take a look at how that will affect that person and affect the department as a whole. We're going to try and do this for a number of years to try and measure the impact as people adjust to a new schedule."

"They're the ones that actually have to perform the duties," Price said. "Studies are excellent to sort of get the catch on things where you would likely be one way or the other. You do the study and you get the input from the people who the study is going to affect and take the data."

How they will study the officers, they cannot exactly say. However, they can tell us the work will be under strict scrutiny.

"We have to be careful about answering that question too, because we don't want to affect the study before we do it," Young said. "There's a review board at Tech that makes sure this is study is done right, everybody involved is protected and no undo coercion is done."

Young is no stranger to working with Lubbock police. he has been with the department since 2000. He is the negotiator for the SWAT team, coordinator for the victim services crisis team and the coordinator for the critical incident stress management team. He even wrote a book about his experiences with LPD.

"Nobody really knows and can appreciate what goes on at 3 a.m. behind the yellow tape so I wanted to write some of those stories down so people can have a better understanding of what this work is like," Young said.

Young said his co-investigator, Thoen, is also well-versed with police work and its culture.

"Law enforcement is an important work and to assist officers who are trying to do their work has been gratifying to me," Young said.

Posted on September 12, 2016 .

My First Blog


This is my first attempt at posting a blog and wanted to see how it looks.  As everyone is well aware, our society is struggling with law enforcement and its place in our society.  More specifically, our society is struggling with authority.  This struggle is compounded by the examples of authority behaving selfishly or poorly that are being highlighted right now.  But these examples of authority behaving selfishly or poorly cannot distract us from the real issue at hand, which is, what place does authority have in our society and how do those under that authority submit to it, especially when caught doing something wrong?

The real test here is when those in society are confronted by authority when they are not doing something wrong.  If I am pulled over when I wasn't speeding, if I am asked to make accommodations during an investigation (e.g. being put in handcuffs while officers investigate something), and even if I am arrested for doing nothing wrong . . . these are the things that test me.  Can I be patient and allow the system to work things out, even while awaiting arraignment and a judge's decision about my circumstances and innocence?  It takes humility and patience in order to submit to imperfect authority, and these are qualities that need to be fostered in all of us.

What do you think?

Posted on August 20, 2016 .

Video: Mental Health Symposium

This presentation was given at the Collin County Mental Health Symposium on November 19th, 2015, and was for law enforcement, mental health professionals, and healthcare providers who try to assist the mentally ill. 

See: for details about the conference.

Viewer Discretion Advised: This clip contains strong language from a recording of an actual police negotiation.

Posted on December 3, 2015 .

Fight Or Flight by Dr. Andy Young

Victim Services

Victim Assistance

Crisis Counseling

Crisis Intervention

Crisis Intervention Training

Mental Health Police Officer

Hostage Negotiation

Crisis Negotiation

Psychological First Aid

Emergency Mental Health

Posted on December 1, 2015 .