Odessa City Council Approves Take-Home Vehicle Program for Police

Odessa City Council Approves Take-Home Vehicle Program for Police

 by Kim Powell

NewsWest 9

ODESSA - The Odessa City Council voted to approve $2.6 million to purchase 60 new patrol vehicles for the Odessa Police Department. The new vehicles will be used in a new program that will allow officers to take home their vehicles, something that police say will benefit everyone.

"Slow down violators, try to prevent crashes instead of just responding to them, so it benefits the officer but it's also benefiting the community at the same time," Officer Gary Potter said.

Now that officers are allowed to take home their vehicles, it could decrease crimes in neighborhoods, save money on maintenance, and there will also be a faster response time to emergencies.

"When your department is staffed up, the fuller it is the more time that allows for proactive law enforcement instead of reactive law enforcement," Officer Potter said.

However, the vote was not unanimous. One council member thinks it is too soon to put this program into place.

"You do pilot programs. You start out with a small group and you work your bugs out," Barbara Graff explained. "I just don't think the way we're doing it is a wise move, I really don't."

The program ultimately passed with an eight to one vote.

"We're very happy. We respect the council's decision," Steve LeSueur, spokesperson for Odessa Police, said. "This isn't just a victory for the police department, this is a victory for the citizen's."