Odessa Police in Favor of Installing Surveillance Cameras in City to Solve More Crimes

Odessa Police in Favor of Installing Surveillance Cameras in City to Solve More Crimes

By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Odessa Police are raising the idea of placing surveillance cameras around town to help keep a watchful eye on the criminals.

"I think it would be extremely beneficial at times for us to have that capability of looking at that technology, looking at the cameras, looking at the images and using that potentially for evidence," said Deputy Chief Lou Orras of the Odessa Police Department.

These cameras would only be used to help solve serious crimes. At this time, there are no cameras in Odessa or Midland used for law enforcement purposes.

The cameras you see now monitor traffic flow and operate traffic signals.

"It actually sees when a vehicle comes up, so when a vehicle comes up it will give that person a green light or it will give the vehicle a left turn arrow," said Traffic Coordinator for the City of Odessa, Hal Feldman.

Police say surveillance video serves as a key ingredient to make an arrest.

"For example, if somebody breaks into the house, they have surveillance video. That's been an excellent resource for us because the first thing we do is we look at the camera," said Cpl. Steve LeSueur, Public Information Officer for the Odessa Police Department.

"Without it you rely on eyewitnesses and sometimes those eyewitnesses can get the license plate number wrong because it's so quick," said Orras.

St. Louis, Boston, Chicago and Dallas are just some of the cities that installed these cameras at intersections, parks and metro stations.

In certain areas of Dallas, police reported a 58% drop in crime thanks to the help of additional surveillance and better quality video.

"We know they were in, say, a maroon Ford pickup. Looking at that intersection, you zoom on on the license plate. Very beneficial," Orras said.

We asked viewers what they thought about the cameras. Some mentioned the book 1984 and "big brother", while others say install the cameras, and install them now.

"Especially if you're a victim of that crime, I think you'd want us to use whatever means available legally to solve that crime," Orras said.