• September 22, 2019

OPD graduates six new officers - Odessa American: Law Enforcement

e-Edition Subscribe

OPD graduates six new officers

Jones follows family footsteps, becomes newest lawman

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size
  • Taking the Oath

    Odessa Police Department Chief Michael Gerke swears in the new recruit graduates. Odessa Police Department held their Police Academy Graduation at the MCM Elegante Hotel on Friday.

Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 5:15 pm

Reed Jones knew he wanted to follow in the public service footsteps of his father and older brother after he served in the Marine Corps.

The 23-year-old was one of the six newest officers shown into the Odessa Police Department all of whom graduated from the 17th session of the Odessa Police Academy.

Jones’ father, Randall Jones, is a lieutenant with the Ector County Independent School District Police, while his older brother is Ryan Jones is an engineer at Station No. 5 for Odessa Fire Rescue.

“Right out of high school I joined the Marine Corps and once I got out of that I came home and I knew this is what I was supposed to do,” Reed Jones said after graduation. “I just went straight for it.”

The ceremony took place 3 p.m. Friday at the MCM Elegante, and though the class size was under double digits in graduates, OPD Chief Mike Gerke said these are six qualities officers.

Gerke admitted OPD is still under staff, but he knows it’s currently about quality not quantity.

“We have to work smarter instead of harder,” Gerke said. “We may be shorthanded, but the citizens deserve a certain level of service and we have to provide that. We have six great officers here that are going to make an absolute difference.”

Randall Jones said it was a proud moment to see his son earn his OPD badge. Randall Jones has served in Odessa law enforcement for 35 years — 21 years with ECISD and 14 with OPD.

“I’m excited, because I’m still assigned OPD SWAT and hopefully in about a year and half he’ll get on,” Randall Jones said.

The six newest officers went through six months of training, which included lessons in driving, firearms and crime scene investigation. Gerke said for the next four months the newest officers will ride along with current officers. The first three and a half months they will shadow officers in the field, while the last two weeks the newest officers will be shadowed by an officer.

The other five newest officers to OPD are Christopher Adams, 26, Brandy Blackmon, 29, William Gryder, 39, Greg Palacios, 23, and Amanda Smead, 27. Four of the six officers — Adams, Blackmon, Jones and Palacios — graduated from either Odessa High or Permian. Gryder graduated from Bay City High School, while Smead is a Midland Lee graduate.

Gerke said the 18th session of the police academy has already begun, but added that OPD is still searching for more officers and encourages more applicants.

“It will be another three and a half months before they are truly on their own,” Gerke said.

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Rain Shower
69°
Humidity: 89%
Winds: S at 16mph
Feels Like: 69°

Your Extended Forecast

Tomorrow

weather
High 80°/Low 68°
Thunderstorms. Lows overnight in the upper 60s.

sunday

weather
High 87°/Low 69°
Considerable cloudiness. Highs in the upper 80s and lows in the upper 60s.

monday

weather
High 89°/Low 70°
Times of sun and clouds. Highs in the upper 80s and lows in the low 70s.
Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7670 to sign up today.