Cpl. Travis Fraser has nearly 30 years of police experience, and after nine years with the Odessa Police Department, he was named April Officer of the Month to his commitment as a leader, mentor, and community resource.
“It’s a great honor,” Fraser said about being named Officer of the Month. “There’s a lot of young troops out there that work their tails off. I don’t do the limelight very well, but it’s a great honor.”
In his time in law enforcement, Fraser has made several citizen contacts, people on the street he can talk to about what is going on in the community, such as business owners or school faculty members.
“I believe in community policing,” Fraser said. “If you’re in trouble on the street in today’s society, it’s getting to be pretty dangerous out. We get out there and work together as a team to get things done.”
The most recent example of community policing was when Fraser received a call from a local business owner who told him his credit card has been used by someone else. They had determined through investigation that it was being used by another employee, who was trying to get his check early and then skip town.
“So I told the boss to have him come to the business to get his check,” Fraser said. “And when he did, we took him and interviewed him and he confessed to the whole deal.”
That suspect, 32-year-old Kenneth Randall Russell, had reportedly made two purchase orders from suppliers totaling more than $10,000, and later selling the stolen property to pawn shops and metal scrap yards. OPD charged him with theft of property, a state jail felony.
Fraser was also awarded Officer of the Month for his ability to lead by compassion, which he showed last March helping out a transient woman.
A woman had been camped out outside of Bush’s Chicken near 37th Street and Grandview Avenue, Fraser said, and told Fraser it was God’s plan for her to stay there.
“I just visited with her for a little while and kind of convinced her that God had better plans for her,” he said. “At that point, I went searching for the better plan.”
Fraser found that better plan at a camp site near 6th Street and Dixie Boulevard that allowed folks to set up tents.
Serving in the Operations Bureau, Patrol Shift B, Fraser has established himself as a division leader and mentor to younger officers.
“They work hard every day,” Fraser said. “If this old kook can do it, I’m sure they’re right alongside me and they’ll be nominated also.”