Gerke details crime stats for council

The Odessa City Council on Tuesday heard an update on crime statistics as well as a discussion on whether or not to update the city’s fire codes.

OPD C’hief of Police Michael Gerke said reported personal crime is down a little more than 1 percent. Personal crimes are things like homicides, assaults, kidnapping and others. He said from January to Aug. 31, 2022, that homicides were four last year and seven this year to date.

Most other personal crimes were down slightly in the same time period. Reported rapes were 33 last year and 35 this year and robberies last year were 75 and 44 this year. Simple assaults were up from 1,509 to 1,588. Under property crime, he said burglary and shoplifting were both down as well as shoplifting and stolen vehicles.

They discussed at length amending the City of Odessa Fire Code and the adoption of the 2021 Odessa Fire Marshal’s fee schedule. The fees typically affect contractors and developers.

They also considered awarding a bid for Tanglewood Lane reconstruction from Penbrook St. to 52nd Street and also a bid for Meadow Avenue reconstruction from Murphy Street to I-20 Service Road.

They also discussed approving a lease agreement with the Black Cultural Council for the Buice Historical Center. The City recently paid $114,589 to repair damage to the center from water.

They also heard from City Manager Michael Marrero on a resolution to deny the May 13 filing of Oncor’s intent to increase rates. He said approval allows the denial of the increase and the chance to renegotiate the rate.