The City Council also approved a first reading of a city ordinance that would help local law enforcement when trying to recover stolen property, starting with the record-keeping.
In an effort to make things more efficient for both area pawn shops and the Police Department, all record keeping done on manual slips of paper will now be done electronically. That means when someone brings in an item to sell to any local resell business, the transaction information will be entered through an electronic program called LeadsOnline. It's an electronic database that allows law enforcement to search nationwide for serial numbers on stolen property.
Lubbock police have been pushing for this system for about a year now, they say it will make their work much more efficient when trying to track down stolen property.
Right now, officers have to go out, collect the slips of paper, then enter them manually into a system. Sergeant Robert Ferguson says it could take up to two weeks before police get the information, and it could be too late to solve the crime.
Sgt. Ferguson: "Resale stores are required by state law to maintain the property for ten days before they're allowed to either melt it down or resell it. So a lot of times the property is gone before we get the information. We should have the information overnight, 48 hours at the latest after from the time it was originally sold. We're just trying to do what we can to obtain the information we need to solve the crimes."
City Council still needs a 2nd proposal for this ordinance to be approved, but Sgt. Ferguson says most likely electronic recordkeeping will go into effect in about 90 days.