March 1, 2013

From the sheriff's desk

GRADY COUNTY — The month of February may be a short month, but there were a lot of things packed into it here at the Sheriff’s Office. We started out the first of the month with a Silver Alert issued for 74 year old Allen Byfield.  After an extensive search all over the area, including Grady and Caddo counties, Grady County Deputy Tim Spratt spotted Mr. Byfield in his truck in Chickasha and safely reunited him with his family. We appreciated all of the help from Chickasha Police Department, OHP, and all of the area police departments.  We also appreciated the public keeping an eye out for Mr. Byfield and thank the media for their help as well.

 As everyone probably knows by now there was an escapee from jail custody at a medical facility, we immediately joined the Chickasha Police Department in scouring the area. After a 17 hour manhunt which included a short pursuit of the escapee in a stolen vehicle and relentless searching, Deputy Roy Spratt, along with Deputy Sean Knight, Deputy Phil Blevins and two Blanchard Police officers captured the young man and put him back in jail. Again, without everyone working together, including the Chickasha Police Department, OHP, Oklahoma City Air One, our K-9 Deputy Hefley and his tracking dog Smokey, Amber Police Department, Ninnekah Police Department, along with many others, this capture may not have been possible so quickly.

Recently we had another instance in which Smokey was instrumental in the capture of a subject running from the police. Blanchard Police Department attempted to make a traffic stop and the subject attempted to elude. A pursuit ensued; the subject crashed the vehicle and ran. Blanchard Police Department set up a perimeter along with OHP, McClain County Sheriff’s Office and Grady County Sheriff’s Office. Our K-9 Smokey and her handler Deputy Hefley, along with Union City’s K-9 officer were dispatched to the scene, Smokey tracked the subject across an open field into a wooded area approximately 300 yards. Smokey alerted and when Deputy Hefley made the K-9 announcement the subject surrendered. Subject was then arrested by the Blanchard Police Department on charges including outstanding warrants, possession of methamphetamine, no drivers license and attempting to allude.

I also want to take this time to say a huge thank you to YOU, the citizens of Grady County! We had a fundraiser for the Sheriff’s Office on February 9th and the support was overwhelming! I can’t say thank you enough to all of you who donated items for the silent auction, baked cakes for the live auction, came to dinner, ate with us, bid on items, etc. Prior to the night of the fundraiser, our Deputies were dedicated and thrilled to be back at work. After the demonstration of support they observed from the citizens they work for, they are now inspired to work even harder knowing how much you all support their efforts. All of us here at the Sheriff’s Office were thrilled with the turnout and the support of our citizens and we seriously can’t say thank you enough! THANK YOU!!

With the money we received from your generous donations, we will now be able to purchase updated fingerprint kits, photography equipment, uniforms, along with other things we need to make our office run smoothly and help to protect our citizens better. We were also donated a police interceptor vehicle at the fundraiser from Bryan Bingham of Bryan’s Car Corner and the Alex Police Department donated two cars to our office. Again, the generosity of our citizens and our fellow law enforcement officers is just overwhelming and much appreciated.  

We also had two Deputies who have stepped up and paid to have their vehicles painted and re-lettered. Eventually, we will try and have all of the vehicles painted and re-lettered to be more in line with a “traditional” Sheriff Deputy car look and also because most of the vehicles are faded and the lettering is becoming hard to read.

We’ve also been concentrating on more and better training for our Deputies, such as Mobile Cop training and Report Form class. We have rejoined OSBI’s state reporting system SIBRS (State Incident Based Reporting Systems). This is a standardized reporting system which is provided at no cost by the State. This enables our agency, as well as others to readily pool information about criminal activity in our state. This sharing of information and working cooperatively is vital in our efforts to fight crime. Deputy Hefley our K-9 handler and his dog Smokey went through Narcotics training and recertification and we have had 12 Deputies go through SWAT School. We will strive to always have our Deputies at the top of their field with the most current training available.

 As always, my office is open to you, if you have a problem, an issue or would just like to come by and see me, feel free to do so. The instances I’ve included in this column are by no means the only ones we’ve handled this month. I just want everyone to know that as I promised, we are constantly working with other law enforcement departments to ensure our citizens are protected.  I am your Sheriff and I want to know your concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

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