April has brought warmer weather finally and just like nature comes alive, so does our activity level. Your Deputies are getting a little busier taking calls. I am sure we will keep a handle on things through the summer. Working toward that end our office has committed to assist in a statewide Impaired Driver Enforcement Campaign. State funding from the Highway Safety Office will be provided to participating agencies to pay law enforcement officers to concentrate additional man hours on impaired drivers. The campaign is scheduled to start around July 4th and continue to the end of the year. We hope to accomplish at least two things during this. Right now Oklahoma statistically has one of the highest rates of accidents involving impaired drivers in the nation. This campaign could change that. The other thing is many thieves get a little impaired to get their nerve up to go out and commit their crimes. So, inevitably during this campaign many of them could be caught either on their way to or from committing a crime.
I am very honored and proud to announce that our Grady County Reserve Academy “13 BR 8-1” had their graduation April 19th. It has been about fifteen years since our last Academy. This Academy produced 14 fine new Law Enforcement Officers. Seven of those are your newest Grady County Deputies. The other seven will be working for other counties and municipalities. Our new recruits still have several months of field training to look forward to. They receive the basics in the Academy but the real work starts as they complete their training on the job, riding with a certified Field Training Officer. This is a great investment in our future as demonstrated by our present Investigator Sergeant Phil Blevins. Sergeant Blevins was a graduate of that last class over 15 years ago as he started his Oklahoma Law Enforcement career as a Minco Police Department patrolman. From that first investment Sergeant Blevins came back to Grady County Sheriff’s office as a seasoned, experienced law man and has been doing a great job as our Investigator.