First OPD Forum Talked About New Officers on the Street

First OPD Forum Talked About New Officers on the Street

by: Justin Kree

NewsWest 9

ODESSA- About 30 people came out to the meet and greet on Thursday night with Chief Burton, Deputy Chief Orras and many captains were there talking to residents.

Everyone agreed that police presence in the street will help with crime problems in Odessa. The question remains, does Odessa have a police shortage and is there any incentives that the department offers to help lure new recruits?

"We now pay lateral entree officers at the seniority level, that they would be paid if they were with us the whole time. So if you worked for 10 years somewhere else, we would recognize your 10 years of service for pay purposes. We also have incentive programs that provide extra compensation for new recruits during the training period because of the cost of living," Burton said

Chief Burton tells NewsWest 9 that new officers will join the academy in July, which will definitely help with the shortage.

"We have 13 coming out of the academy in June that will be hitting the streets. Another 19 right now entering the academy in July. We are still hiring for that academy so we anticipate there will be even more," Burton said. 

Though some residents brought their personal concerns, like active drug houses and aggressive dogs getting out, Chief Burton tells NewsWest 9 that it is expected.

"Many of the issues were very personal in nature and you sort of expect that people want to speak about those things they've experienced. Because that's the most intense for them and that's understandable. You hope you do the best job possible every single time. You regret when you don't, and you try to fix it when you've made a mistake," Burton said.