The Economic Development Pulse October 2015 - Page 11

I would like to thank the Economic Development Pulse Magazine for the opportunity to contribute. Congratulations on expanding the conversation about economic development in our City.

My first effort will address in very broad terms the correlation between crime and other socio-economic factors affecting the City of Odessa. I will discuss in more specific ways public safety in our community and the work of your Police Department in future articles.

Economic development and quality of life are parallel concepts. They graph in unison in most urban environments in the United States. Intelligent economic development enhances quality of life. In turn quality of life supports growth in economic opportunity. The reverse also holds true. A decline in one triggers a decrease in the other.

Both concepts share a dependence on many socio-economic factors. Four primary factors are public safety, education, health/healthcare and employment. These four are determinants of the City’s ability to grow economically in a diverse and productive way. They are prerequisite for sustained economic development and improvement in livability.

Crime has proximate and distal causes. Proximate causes are conditions that are accessible and easily identifiable. Examples of proximate causes are the presence of a supply of illegal drugs, a permanent known offender population, organized criminal gangs and affiliates, available cash and goods and high risk social behavior. Distal or foundational causes are a product of the aggregate socio-economic factors in the community. Factors include education levels, literacy, drop-out rates, teen pregnancy, family dysfunction, job opportunities, employment rates, health, healthcare, substance abuse rates, distressed neighborhoods, income levels and infrastructure.

Crime manifests itself in proximate causes but exists as a result of socio-economic issues. The Police Department is designed to address proximate causes in proactive and reactive ways. The Police Department is only one component in rectifying distal causes of crime. A comprehensive, coordinated and intensive public/private sector effort is required to rectify the fundamental social conditions which are the true causes of crime.

The creation of an inviting environment for economic development and an improved quality of life requires public safety, healthy lifestyles, an educated populace and diverse, sustainable job opportunities. Confronting the proximate and distal causes of crime simultaneously and with real commitment is the path to a more prosperous and livable City.

Keep up with the Odessa PD!

The Odessa Police Department is using social media to build safer neighborhoods in your community. NextDoor is a private, social network that residents can use to get the latest updates straight from the Odessa Police as news happens. The Police Department has partnered with NextDoor.com to communicate directly with residents and provide a resource for Odessa neighborhoods to work together to keep their families safe. Residents can also use the online network to do the following:

• Get the word out about a break-in

• Receive alerts of criminal activity down your street or neighborhood

• Organize a Neighborhood Watch Group

• Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog

• Find a new home for an outgrown bike

• Ability to send private messages to OPD in reference to tips or concerns about neighborhood issues

Join NextDoor today to help your community prevent and stop crime! You can also follow the City of Odessa Facebook page to get news instantly on your timeline.

https://nextdoor.com/agency/tx/odessa/odessa-police-department/

https://www.facebook.com/cityofodessatx?fref=ts

Safety

Safety

11

Economic Development, Quality of Life and Crime

Tim Burton

Chief of Police

Keep up with the Odessa PD!

The Odessa Police department is using social media to build safer neighborhoods in Odessa. NextDoor is a private, online social network that residents can use to get the latest updates straight from the Odessa Police as news is occurring. The Police Department has partnered with NextDoor.com to communicate directly with residents and provide a resource for Odessa neighborhoods to work together to keep their families safe. Residents can also use the online network to do the following:

• Get the word out about a break-in

• Receive alerts of criminal activity down your street or neighborhood

• Organize a Neighborhood Watch Group

• Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog

• Find a new home for an outgrown bike

Join NextDoor today to help your community prevent and stop crime! You can also follow the City of Odessa Facebook page to get news straight to your timeline.

City of Odessa NextDoor Page