Levelland Police Chief Toney Cowan spoke with KLVT news again Tuesday to provide some update into the officer involved shooting in Levelland this past Friday. cowan said that the officers which were involved have been on paid administrative leave since the incident. He stated that a Crisis Invention Officer recommended by the Department of Public Safety will meet with the officers on Wednesday. He said this is all part of the process for the department to move forward. He stated that the officers could be brought back in a desk duty position as they work through this tramatic experience.
He also said that at this point it is the focus of the officers and the Levelland Police Department to let the Rangers complete an accurate and thorough investigation. This case does land close to home for Chief Cowan, as the incident occurred approximately 90 yards from Cowan’s residence. He said “I knew the suspect and never had anything bad to say about the individual.” When asked about the language barrier, since the caller spoke very little english, Cowan invited KLVT News to the Dispatch area of Levelland PD and the Lead Dispatcher for the department led us through what took place. The call came in and since it was from a cell phone the approximate location is automatically plotted on a map for dispatchers. It was also pointed out that the caller did speak english to the best of her ability and dispatchers were able to understand the words “husband and help.” It was noted that the department does have a service known as the “Language Line” that they can utilize for translation services. This is the same service that the Lubbock Police Department uses as well. It was noted by the lead dispatcher that it still would take some time to get the general information from the caller, as the language line will not take the call until they have general information such as a name and if possible, the purpose of the call. It was also noted that it would take approximately 5-10 minutes to get an operator on the line through this service.
Another topic explored with the police chief was the use of Tasers. Levelland Police Department currently does not use tasers and none of the officers have them. Cowan stated that the department has explored the option in the past, however, the liability was too great. He did say in light of this latest instance they will look at that again, however, the department will not review its policies until the Texas Rangers Investigation has been completed.
KLVT News has learned that the family of the deceased subject has hired Lubbock Attorney Dustin Brooks, however, we are told no lawsuit has been filed as of yet, they are just wanting to make sure that a complete and thorough investigation is done. Hockley County District Attorney Chris Dennis also said his office will wait on a full report from the Rangers investigation.