The Odessa Police Department named Cpl. David Young the officer of the month for May, following a series of arrests he made related to burglaries and narcotics.
Young conducted multiple traffic stops throughout May, leading to multiple arrests and drug seizures, and also helped track down a fugitive from Dallas.
Young was on call when he heard about a burglary around 4:48 a.m. last week in the 3100 block of North Tom Green Avenue. Upon arrival, he found the suspect, 36-year-old Esteban Garza, in possession of a scale and marijuana pipes. Garza attempted to evade officers, but was soon captured. It was later found out through dispatch that Garza had a felony parole violation warrant out of Dallas County for burglary of a habitation.
“It’s just that childhood wonder and spirit,” Young said about his success. “Whenever you’re a little kid, you want to play cops and robbers. Now I get to pursue that.”
But Young didn’t take all the credit. He said that receiving officer of the month shows that OPD’s B shift team is doing something right.
“It really is all teamwork,” Young said. “I can’t do anything without my shift partners backing me up, without dispatch being on their game, without the technology working. It’s everything surrounding that specific event that actually leads to a successful arrest.”
The success of his team is due to their drive and leadership, Young said. By that, he means that officers are doing more during quiet hours than just sitting back and listening for calls.
“It separates officers that continue to push toward checking out vehicle burglaries or narcotics being sold in the area,” Young said. “Instead of just sitting back, they’re staying proactive.”
Young, 31, has been with OPD for about two-and-a-half years. He previously spent six years in the army. He said his experience in the army helped with skills such as teamwork and communication, and also helped prepare him for the stressful environment and training that comes with being a police officer.
Before working for OPD, Young said he came to Odessa in 2015 to work in the oilfield, but was soon laid off. Now, oil work is coming back, but Young said he’s not looking for another job.
“The money was good,” Young said,” but this is a lot more fun. I think it’s about being happy with what you’re doing.”