OPD announces induction of new officers 

Odessa Police Chief Mike Gerke has announced the induction of four new police officers into the Odessa Police Department. The graduation ceremony took place Friday afternoon at the Odessa Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.

Officer Ethan Ryan McKown: Officer McKown is 26 years old and was born and raised in Odessa, graduating from Permian High School. His hobbies include spending time with his family and spending time outdoors. Regarding his new career, McKown is most looking forward to the experiences and training he will receive. Inspired by the training staff, he hopes to one day teach new police recruits and to be part of the SWAT team.

Officer Odilia Soto: Officer Soto is 35 years old and was born and raised in Odessa, graduating from the Career Center. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the gym, cooking, and being with family. Soto is most looking forward to helping people every day and doing her part to address crime within the community. One day, she hopes to become a homicide detective or in the Traffic Unit.

Officer Joseph Gabriel Valerio: Officer Valerio is 29 years old, born in Albuquerque, N.M. and graduated from Wink High School in Wink. His hobbies include lifting weights, reading, and working on computers. With a passion for service and a dedication to Odessa, Valerio is eager to make a positive impact on this community. He’s excited to explore the diverse opportunities within the Odessa Police Department and discover the path where his skills and values can best serve the public.

Officer Mario Julian Vera: Officer Vera is 33 years old, born in Honduras, and raised in the Bronx, N.Y. His is a graduate of Kings Bridge High School. In his spare time, he enjoys playing soccer. Vera is most looking forward to serving and making an impact in the Odessa community. He hopes to one day become a K9 officer.