Odessa Police Department Recruit Arrested For Alleged Sexual Misconduct With Minor

Odessa Police Department Recruit Arrested For Alleged Sexual Misconduct With Minor

Anum Valliani

NewsWest 9

ODESSA -  A recruit from the Odessa Police Department is out of a job and facing some time behind bars.

The young man is accused of sending obscene photos to a 15-year-old girl.

Officials with the OPD are frustrated in the situation, but said they feel lucky to have caught 23-year-old Mitchell Dailey while he was a recruit, as opposed to a uniformed officer.

Dailey was set to start the academy Monday, according to Public Information Officer Corporal Steve LeSueur.

But instead, the recruit resigned that day. Now, he has pending charges for engaging with the minor.

Officials said fellow officers brought the allegations to the Professional Standards Unit within OPD. After investigating, they brought in the Texas Rangers to take over. And U.S. Marshal's arrested Dailey from a home in West Odessa, where they said he was cooperative.

"The Odessa Police Department does not tolerate this type of behavior. I mean not only is this in violation of department policy, but this is criminal activity," LeSueur said.

Over the past few months, there have been a handful of allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct from officers. But investigators say only one hire had been arrested recently for criminal activity, and that was officer Salvador Becerra, but now the recruit is adding his name to the list.

"Anytime we lose an officer or any employer, it definitely has a negative impact on the department, but bottom line is we learn from it and we move on," he said.

NewsWest 9 has received some reports that Dailey was assigned to work at the Police Athletic League. That program involves direct contact between the police and youth to promote trust while they all participate in sports and other recreational activities.

Officials have not confirmed whether Dailey was involved with that league, but they do say that they're just glad it wasn't worse.

"Dailey wasn't a police officer, he never was a police officer and if convicted, he will never be able to become a police officer," he said.

Dailey is being held at the Ector County Detention Center. Officials said he will be arraigned Tuesday morning, and that's when the judge will determine a suitable punishment if he is charged.