By Kim Powell
ODESSA - It's a change that's been a long time coming. As crime continues to get worse and worse in Odessa, police are doing whatever they can to put an end to it including taking their patrol cars home. In August 2014, the city council passed a motion to give the department $2.6 million for new vehicles, and now--eight months later--the transition is finally beginning.
"What you're looking at is one of the new models. It's a 2015 Chevy Tahoe and these are the new patrol vehicles that the Odessa police officers will be taking home," Steve LeSueur, spokesperson for the Odessa Police Department (OPD) said.
60 new vehicles will be hitting the road over the next few months. OPD says having the patrol vehicles in residential areas has proven to decrease crime--but that's not the only perk. It will also save money on maintenance and allow for faster response times.
"If there's a serious incident that occurs, instead of responding to the Odessa Police Department and waiting around for a vehicle, the officers can respond immediately from their houses to wherever the incident is itself," LeSueur said.
OPD tells us they are still shorthanded and the new patrol vehicles will also help with the recruiting process.
They say they're excited for the change and grateful for the council's decision.
"So it's something we've been waiting for for a long time," LeSueur said. "We're very excited about it. So just expect to see patrol vehicles start to flood the streets of Odessa because the more vehicles we have, the less crime."