By Wyatt Goolsby
Odessans will soon see some new police officers on the job. The plan at the Odessa Police Department is to welcome five new officers Tuesday in a special ceremony. But that hasn't kept the Chief of Police from letting them get started on their new jobs. And it all comes as the department is still adjusting after the deaths of three officers, who recently died on the job.
"I was sitting there thinking, wow, it feels like I just got punched right in the face. I mean it was right there. It was the real thing and still, there's still there's sometimes I get up in the morning, I'm coming to work and I think, oh, I'm going to see Abel today, but no, I'm not going to see him. You know, it's still coming around you know," explained Officer Kolby Kea.
It's a constant thought for Kea, a new patrol officer for the Odessa Police Department. He said he learned a lot while taking his classes at the Police Academy. And while book smarts help, it's not quite the same as dealing with the reality of the day to day job.
"I took it seriously, definitely. I knew that it was a dangerous job before, but now, it definitely goes through your head, especially when you get on a call similar to the one they got out on. Especially being new, doing it for the first time, it definitely goes through your head, and you got to take that breathe, before you get out of the car," said Kea.
Sheila Linston, another new officer, agreed.
"They say you know it can happen. You know it's there. You learn to be more cautious," said Linston.
But she also said this is a job she chose to do. And while the danger is always there, she said she will keep doing her duty.
"We got into this. We worked hard to get to where we were, and any situation that you get into, and you've just got to stay focused and just keep your concentration. But be aware of everything, and I guess this taught us to be more aware," explained Linston.