ODESSA, Texas — Two weeks ago, Barbara Jordan Elementary School students and faculty returned from the weekend to cold classrooms. Police say someone climbed on the schools roof and destroyed 6 AC units and some of their electrical systems. Now Odessa Crime Stoppers needs your help.
Mike Adkins with the Ector County Independent School District, says this is quite upsetting.
“It really is disappointing, just to have something of yours that is damaged by somebody outside,” adds Adkins.
He says that this isn’t the first time something like this has happened but it does unfortunately force some unneeded changes.
“Unfortunately this is something we deal with occasionally, and it’s disappointing, you know certainly it distracts from the overall mission, which is bringing kids in and having a safe comfortable place,” says Adkins.
ECISD police say about $26,000 worth of damage was done on the school. Now, the school says this not only affects the physical property but also how the school functions.
Adkins says, “So, you’ve got man hours that you put into it, a police investigation, repairs, the cost of those repairs, all of that could be better focused on something that’s more towards teaching and learning, unfortunately, it’s not.”
Now Odessa Crime Stoppers is on the case and looking for your help in the investigation.
Officer Freddie Nayola with the ECISD Police Department says, “Once our leads have pretty much been, all exhausted and we can’t move on, we look for the public to see what they know.”
He agrees with Adkins that this isn’t uncommon. Nayola says that the department unfortunately sees a lot of vandalism, theft, and trespassing on school property.
“Night time, especially on weekends, kids will come to the school and sometimes they use the playgrounds. We’ve had burglaries around the weekends and at night the kids get in and vandalize,” says Nayola.
Nayola works closely with the Odessa Crime Stoppers and says the presence of such an organization makes a big difference in the community and is a great way to keep the community safe and bring everyone together.
Nayola adds, “I think it’s great, because it not only takes officers to solve crimes and to go out there and do good, it takes the whole community, to go out there and police each other also, if I may say that, but the community they have eyes and ears, and you know how rumors go, they spread a lot faster so we can get more information on that.”
Fortunately the school was able to fix most of the damage done, rather quickly and classes were able to continue as normal.
Now, ECISD’s Police Department and Odessa Crime Stoppers are working hard to find those responsible.
If you know anything about this case call Odessa Crime Stoppers, there is a reward for any information leading to an arrest. You can also submit a tip anonymously through the app.