Odessa police will soon begin writing traffic tickets electronically, after the Odessa City Council on Tuesday approved the purchase of a new software system for the department with a goal of cutting down on the length of traffic stops and freeing officers to move more quickly to other calls.
The City Council approved buying the system at a cost of about $211,000 in a 3-0 vote. District 1 Councilman Malcolm Hamilton and District 5 Councilman Filiberto Gonzales were absent.
The purchase also includes hand-held units and other equipment, along with training. Deputy Chief Wes Carta told the City Council that the e-tickets would save time on stops and the time it takes to fill out a crash report or a citation, while cutting down on officer error and easing management of the citations at Municipal Court.
“Those are some of the hidden efficiencies really that it’s going to have here,” Carta said. “But the big one is for the citizens, being able to complete these crash reports so much faster, free our roadways up, get the traffic moving again.”
Officers will share the equipment, which includes a device that will allow them to scan information from a driver’s license or a registration sticker.
“If we can save our officers time, you can do more work with less people,” Mayor David Turner said. “And if they can write more tickets to some of these people on 42nd or on Clements where they race, I think that’s fantastic. If you can’t tell them to slow down, hit them in the pocket book until they do slow down.”
IN OTHER BUSINESS, THE CITY COUNCIL:
- Removed from the table, opened a public hearing and voted for the first time to approve an ordinance granting a request from Betenbough Homes for development of 84 single-family lots on the northeast corner of 91st Street and Rainbow Drive, after city staff met with a concerned citizen and developed plans for an additional stop sign along 91st Street to help reduce speeding.
- Tabled a request from Triple J Investments to rezone from Future Development to Special Dwelling District for the development of six single-family lots at the northeast corner of Dawn Avenue and Charles Walker Road amid concerns of potential traffic issues
- Opened a public hearing and voted for the first time to approve a request by ICA Properties for original zoning of Future Development-Drill Reservation on a 4.2 acre tract and .15 acte tract northwest and northeast of the intersection of Mission Boulevard and Dorado Drive.
- Opened a public hearing and voted for the first time to approve a request by Vickie and Thomas Hurt to rezone from Single Family-Two to Retail-One northeast of the intersection of Catalina Drive and West 24th Street.
- Opened a public hearing and voted for the first time to approve a request by Verna Headlee for original zoning of a roughly 2 acre tract from Future Development to retail.
- Opened a public hearing and voted for the first time to approve a request by Leeco Energy and Investments to rezone from Single Family-Three to Special Dwelling District northeast of the intersection of East 52nd Street and Conley Avenue.
- Approved for the first time an ordinance adopting a new Atmos Gas Tariff and Rate Revenue Mechanism.
- Reviewed council items in a briefing session beginning at 5 p.m., discussed downtown property and the e-ticket software system.
- Approved City Council minutes from the Feb. 27 meeting and the March 6 finance committee meeting.
- Approved acceptance of a $14,600 grant supporting drug crime enforcement.
- Approved a $11,219 grant supporting education of police officers.
- Approved the annexation of the Madrid subdivision, Block 1, Lots 1 and 2, into the Ector County Utility District.
- Approved the annexation of the Westgate subdivision, Block 8, Lots 10 and 11, replat of Block 8, Lot 4 into the Ector County Utility District.