Odessa Police Now Accepting New Mail-In Reports

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Police say they want to better serve their community. And they're hoping that Odessans can fill out their new forms for minor incidents will help to speed up their busy work.

No matter what the crime scene may be, OPD officers know the importance of filling out all of that paperwork. But not every crime in Odessa always has evidence, or witnesses to investigate. That's why Odessa Police said their new mail-in forms will help to better prioritize all of their reports.

"Police departments have to triage their calls much the same way that hospital rooms have to triage theirs. It's not a first come, first serve basis. We'd like it to be that way, but it just can't be, because of the nature of the business," explained Lieutenant Rick Pippins.

That's why Police said if you mail in the form or swing by and drop it off at the Police Department, they will organize it right along with all of the other police reports of the day.

"They are going to be handled in the same way that reports made by police officers are made, they'll be assigned a case number, in the evident their information develops that allows the Detective Bureau to do a follow-up investigation, they'll be follow up investigations done on these mail in reports just in the same way that they follow up on police officer reports," said Pippins.

And making sure those crime reports are on record is still a high priority. Gene Collins, with Farmers Insurance Group, agrees with the idea of a mail-in report. Especially since they only cover situations where there is no immediate evidence.

"In light of not having a suspect or a witness to the crime, there's very little that can be done anyway," explained Collins. "In the past when something like this would happen, the police officer would come out, and spend a lot of man-hour time at the site really not doing anything but clerical type work. And this would certainly free them up to handle some of the more acute problems that occur in the community."

Police told NewsWest 9 they've already received several of the forms. They've made sure every officer in the field has some copies of the reports so that if smaller crimes do happen, citizens will know how to deal with it.