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Odessa Police bringing back monthly neighborhood watch meetings

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 5:11 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - For those who are looking to make their neighborhood a little bit safer, there’s cause for celebration.

The Odessa Police Department has announced that it’s bringing back its monthly neighborhood watch meetings.

“We’re excited to get this back up and going again,” said Dora McGinnis, a Neighborhood Watch Leader.

McGinnis doesn’t pull any punches.

“I don’t know if I should say this or not. I think it’s very important to know your neighbors. I mean, you don’t have to get all in their business and go borrow sugar from them, but it’s important,” said McGinnis.

She’s been a leader in her local neighborhood watch group for six years. It’s no surprise she’d like to see more watch groups pop up. But like many things, the pandemic took away an essential component of Odessa Neighborhood Watch groups - their communication with the City’s police department.

Odessa police stopped their monthly meetings when the pandemic kicked up in March of 2020. Now they’re looking to start it back up.

“If they need to send out extra officers to patrol that area, those things are discussed,” said McGinnis.

Despite living in what she calls ‘The best lit neighborhood in Odessa,’ McGinnis says she’s seen an increase in nearby crime and theft. She hopes that resuming these regular meetings will help.

The goal is to provide a little more security and safety, and McGinnis has tips for any neighborhood.

“The thing we have that works so great for us is our Facebook page. It’s just private for us.”

There’s also the OPD app that allows citizens to more easily communicate with police, something the department hopes gains more traction now that the Neighborhood Watch Program has restarted.

If you’re interested in joining one of the watch groups, the first meeting is being held Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the Odessa Police Department. Meetings will be held on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

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