Odessa Lands Spot on Most Dangerous Cities List 12/24/13
CBS 7 News
December 24, 2013
ODESSA-Odessa is now ranked number 71 on a list of America’s Most Dangerous Cities. The rating is based on FBI statistics from 2012 and considers the rising rate of violent crime in our city.
While most Odessans say they feel safe, they were not surprised to hear Odessa in the same breath as cities like Compton, Philadelphia and Baltimore on the list of most dangerous cities.
According to Neighborhood Scout's website, Odessa ranks 71 on the top 100 list of dangerous cities. The ranking is based on the number of violent crimes compared to population. The list includes homicide, rape, armed robbery and aggravated assault.
“You equalize everything, if you don’t feel safe, you get a gun,” said Odessan Estella Fuentes.
“With all the new people around here, it figures,” said Tingo Pacheco, who lives in Odessa. “We’re not as safe as we used to be.”
Some Odessans point to the boom and say a similar crime spike in the 80's means this is nothing new.
"Does that change your perception at all?” CBS 7 asked.
“Back in the 80’s, I lived here and we were at the top of the list, no I don’t even think about it,” said Kristi Phillips.
The survey says the area south of Business 20 near Grant and Murphy sees the highest volume of violent crimes. A swath of town south of E. 42nd between Dixie and Andrews highway also sees many crimes.
With cities like Philadelphia and Baltimore on the same list, one local expert says it’s really not that bad here.
“We’re not a gang-ridden city, our schools are not out of control and our law enforcement has a good grip on what’s going on in our city,” said Susan Rogers of Odessa Crime Stoppers. “I don’t believe we’re that type of city.”
Most people we spoke with say they do feel safe here, but nearly half of the dozen we interviewed said they had fallen victim of a crime.
“I had my shed broken into about four months ago and $2,000 worth of tools stolen,” said one Odessa man.
“My car got broken into,’ said Tingo Pacheco. “It’s scary, we need to lock our doors, but I still try to be friendly to everybody. We just have to carry on and do the best we can.”
According to FBI statistics, there were 5 murders, 43 forcible rapes and 914 aggravated assaults in Odessa in 2011. You can take a closer look at the ranking, which includes maps of some of the data at this link.