• March 1, 2021

New medical examiner’s HQ coming - Odessa American: Ector County

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New medical examiner’s HQ coming

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Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 3:11 pm

Ector County commissioners on Tuesday OK’d using $88,500 in federal CARES Act money to construct a bigger building for the medical examiner’s office near the sheriff’s office and jail south of Odessa off U.S. 385.

Chief Medical Investigator Ron Inge attended the 10 a.m. meeting to say he needed more supplies and a cooler with a capacity for 20 bodies, Precinct 3 Commissioner Don Stringer reported.

Inge said the current medical examiner’s headquarters at 200-A W. Third St. are much too small.

The plan was approved on a 4-1 vote with Precinct 2 Commissioner Greg Simmons voting “no,” he said, because the building would increase the county’s insurance costs and liability.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Gardner had said Monday that the ME’s office used a mobile storage system for bodies during the pandemic. “They’ve been overwhelmed and are looking for a long-term solution,” he said.

Stringer had said Monday that the ME’s office is “understaffed and under-squarefootaged.”

In other business, the court held an executive session in which the commissioners and Judge Debi Hays interviewed two applicants to fill the newly created post of public information officer.

“The position is still open and I hope we will have a decision in the next few meetings,” Stringer said Tuesday. “We need more positive things coming out about us.”

Stringer had said in a Monday interview that a PIO would make it easier for the media to cover county government and Gardner said then that a full-time spokesperson “would provide a better flow of information.”

The court also:

>> Allocated $450,000 to hire JSA Architects and build an addition onto the sheriff’s evidence vault and armory.

>> OK’d leasing property from MCA Properties for a law enforcement sub-station in Music City Mall.

>> Learned in a discussion of COVID-19-related issues that the county will get enough Moderna vaccine for 200 shots and that it will be supplied with 100 Pfizer shots by Medical Center Hospital for use by the ECISD.

>> Accepted one 30-yard trash container each from the West Tex Disposal and Basin Disposal companies to help curb illegal dumping.

>> Voted to have the highways and streets department install more speed limit signs at Joan Drive and Robin Avenue in West Odessa.

>> Accepted $5,000 from Occidental Petroleum for the sheriff’s office.

>> Amended the county’s contract with Securus Technologies to implement video visitation for inmates.

Odessa, TX

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