Odessa Fire Chief believes a Safe Haven would be beneficial here after success in Hobbs

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Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 4:27 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - On Saturday September 23rd, The City of Hobbs had its first usage of its Safe Haven Baby Box.

Because of the success in Hobbs, its now a possibility of one being placed in Odessa.

Odessa Fire Central is just one of many locations for a parent to forfeit the right to their child in the City of Odessa.

But what makes this system different from Hobbs is that here it’s not left anonymous. You have to physically hand someone here at the station the baby.

Since news broke about a baby being left in the Safe Haven Box successfully in Hobbs, it has Fire Chief, Jason Cotton thinking about the idea of coming to Odessa.

“Over the past few days since the incident in Hobbs, I think it’s worth having a discussion over. To me it’s very important” said Cotton

The Safe Haven Law, also known as the Baby Moses Law, gives parents who are unable to care for their child a safe and legal choice to leave their infant with an employee at a designated safe place like a hospital, fire station, or emergency medical service station.

This system has been in place since 1999.

But its lack of anonymity could be a drawback which has Cotton considering a new way to do things.

“If we can save a baby’s life by having a Safe Haven baby box similar to Hobbs I think it’s a great thing and if we save one baby’s life because of it, it pays for itself,” said Cotton

This year, Senate Bill 780 now allows an optional avenue for emergency medical service providers, fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and hospitals to install newborn safety devices.

Which allows a parent in Texas to turn their child over anonymously instead of doing it face to face.

“This is absolutely a good resource for parents who need to relinquish their children who need to do so safely and need to do so in a way that gives them the amount of privacy they think they need in order to make that difficult choice,” said Brandon Logan, Exec Director of One Accord For Kids

Providers that opt-in to this program are responsible for the cost of installing the newborn safety device.