The Odessa Record -


Apps help find Odessa men, may prove useful at Fest


As reported at Monday evening’s town council meeting, Odessa police chief Tom Clark is very pleased with a computer application now available to Odessa residents that allows alerts to be issued on subjects related to public safety. Even as the app was going live, it was put to use in helping to find two elderly Odessa gentlemen who had gone missing. Both were found safe and sound and returned to their loved ones.

The app allows users to anonymously contact the Odessa police with such information as tips about crimes in progress or minor conflicts that could potentially escalate into major incidents. The police department in turn can provide the public with information about dangerous situations, areas to avoid or to request help in finding those who have gone missing.

On June 29, the Odessa Police Department sought the help of Odessa residents and of surrounding communities in locating 86-year-old Gordon W. Lund of Odessa, last seen that day driving a blue 1986 Dodge Dakota extended-cab pickup. An insulin-dependent diabetic, Lund had not eaten that day, according to his family. He was last seen eastbound on First Avenue, at Alder St., in Odessa in the early afternoon.

The hunt was on, ultimately involving two privately owned airplanes and many friends and family members out driving to wherever they thought he could have gone. Lund was located at around 12:30 a.m., the early morning hours of June 30 in his vehicle, where low blood sugar had left him disoriented.

The other gentleman had recently moved into Quail Court, the assisted-living facility in Odessa. A trip to the nearby hospital for medical treatment left him confused about where he was and where he ought to be. He left the hospital, but was found nearby only a short time later in his vehicle. The app was also used in that case to alert the community and help find the gentleman.

The community is encouraged to stop by the Odessa police chief’s office to discuss any issues they might be having with the app. Chief Clark is willing to help get this new tool into as many hands as possible.

Chief Clark also reported that he had received only one noise complaint on July 4, when fireworks were still being heard sporadically at 11:30 p.m. State law allows fireworks up until midnight on the fourth, and the Town of Odessa has not passed any laws with more stringent restrictions, so the caller was told that things should quiet down after 12. And indeed they did, for no more fireworks were heard after the midnight cutoff time.

Another app coming

As the council dealt with one app, the Chamber of Commerce was introduced to another app that could help visitors to Deutschesfest find what they are looking for.

The students in Jeff Wehr’s computer programing class have developed an app which is populated by maps of Odessa and lists of what activities and foods can be found throughout the town when visitors come to Fest.

Chamber members thought the app was a marvelous addition to Fest and quickly granted approval for the use of the Chamber’s Deutschesfest crest on the home page of the app. Information on the app will be updated as plans for this year’s Fest are finalized over the next two months.

The so-called “DeutschesApp” is available only on the Android platform at present, although the class is looking to expand to include the Apple platform in time for the 2018 Fest.


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