MIDLAND-ODESSA, TX (KWES) - To protect and serve is the oath police officers take. The police departments in Midland and Odessa could use a few more officers to fill their respective staffs.
"It's particular out here because we compete with the oil industry. Geographically, some people might not want to live in West Texas," said Jim Dodson with the Odessa Police Department.
"People who get into law enforcement generally don't get into law enforcement for the pay," said Pete Dehlinger with the Midland Police Department.
Right now, there are 25 officers needed for Odessa and 11 needed in Midland. The way both departments look to replenish their force is by the recruits currently in training.
"These young people right here are the most precious resource in the law enforcement profession," said Dodson.
"We're going to teach them the law. We're going to teach them how to drive, how to shoot their firearm, how to use all the tools they have," said Dehlinger.
Those tools will need to come in handy. Stats from the departments show in June MPD made 416 arrests while OPD made 597. Looking at those numbers is the reason why the recent recruits want to do the job they do.
"A lot of the officers really want to help people. They want to keep their community safe," said Dehlinger.
"If you have a servant's heart, I think you will be here," said Dodson.
6 recruits are currently taking classes with OPD and 8 recruits will start on Monday with MPD.