OPD set to host Neighborhood Watch meeting

For the first time in 17 months, the Odessa Police Department will be hosting a Neighborhood Watch meeting.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Odessa Police Department classroom.

Dora McGinnis, a block captain for a neighborhood in Odessa, told members of the media on Monday afternoon that neighborhood watches are important for every neighborhood in the city.

“There’s not just one section,” McGinnis said. “It’s all over. The best thing that has worked for us is our Facebook page that private with only neighbors on it.”

OPD Cpl. Steve LeSueur saw how crime mapping works on the Odessa Police Department app that launched earlier this year that can be downloaded by Apple and Android users.

The map shows when, where and what crime has taken place in the city. As of Monday afternoon, the most recent offense had been uploaded happened at 8:52 p.m. July 25.

LeSueur explained that it takes a couple of days for the crime to be loaded in the city mapping system.

“It’s an excellent way for us to communicate with the citizens of Odessa,” he said about the OPD app. “We are going to be talking about it more at our meeting (Tuesday).”

McGinnis said she urges members of the public to come to the neighborhood watch meeting.

The Odessan said even though she lives in a well lit neighborhood and most of her neighbors have security cameras that haven’t deterred people from breaking the law. McGinnis said it’s important for neighbors to keep in contact when a crime takes place in their respective neighborhoods.

“There’s comfort knowing your neighbors are there to back you and help you,” McGinnis said. “It’s not an easy feeling trying to sleep at night when someone is coming in your neighborhood wanting to take things that don’t belong to them.”