ODESSA, Mo. -- Odessa residents were left wondering what was going on behind closed doors last week when Odessa Police Chief Scott Newhouse was reinstated after a criminal investigation, and then resigned a day later. Monday night, they learned what was also going on in closed drawers.
The same day all five of Odessa's Police cars had their tires slashed August 17th, someone urinated in the police chief's desk drawers. The revelation came from City Administrator Mickey Ary as he read a consultant's report on the Odessa Police Department.
The report criticized Odessa police for unprofessional posts on officer’s personal pages as well as the police department’s Facebook Page. It also cited a lack of firearm training, cops accepting improper gifts, and using an abundance of department time investigating fellow officers, creating low morale.
About 200 of the city's approximately 5,000 residents gathered to hear the future of the department.
An overwhelming majority of the crowd who spoke supported the police department, many wearing shirts that said "Back our Blue."
“This is very discouraging and I think all of you should be ashamed of yourself for putting this community through what you are putting them through,” Tamara Walkup said.
“There’s less and less Odessa, more and more Lafayette County, nobody in this community knows what’s going on and they are very scared, and that’s why the emotions are running high,” Stephanie Chapman said.
Ary said Odessa City Staff was supporting contracting services with Lafayette County's Sheriff's Office. He announced deputies had already taken control of the police evidence locker that was in disarray.
Sheriff Kerrick Alumbaugh said he could provide nine deputies to patrol Odessa. There was no vote taken or discussion on whether it was good idea among the Odessa Board of Alderman.
Sheriff Alumbaugh said any information on whether a deal had already been struck for his department to provide services to Odessa would have to come for Odessa city leaders who were unavailable for comment after the meeting.