BY JIM WEIR
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.
We had a busy month in April, with a lot of things going on. We had a donation of stuffed animals, which is great for the Sheriff’s Office and our Deputies! Often times we go on calls and if there is a child there, being able to give him or her a stuffed animal makes them smile. When they are frightened, it helps to ease them. Sometimes it is a domestic, sometimes it is an auto accident, but whatever the reason we are there, it’s important the child see we are not there to hurt them.
We also had the honor and privilege to attend the Te Ata Statue Dedication at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. Myself, Undersheriff Rusty Pyle, Lt. Johnnie Drewery and Public Relations Officer Lisa Hatchett attended this wonderful event. Speakers were USAO President Dr. John Feaver, Te Ata’s great nephew US Congressman Tom Cole, and Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby. If you get the chance go by the campus of the University of Science and Arts in Chickasha and see this beautiful statue.
We also said “goodbye” to longtime Grady County Clerk Lois Foster, it was a pleasure to serve with Lois and we wish her well in her retirement! We also want to say congratulations to our new Grady County Court Clerk Lisa Hannah and we look forward to working with her in the years to come! Lastly, we are happy to congratulate District Attorney Jason Hicks on his reelection! We certainly have enjoyed working with Jason and we are pleased to continue our great working relationship with him and his office!
If you need to speak with me, come by and see me or give me a call! As always, my door and my office are open to assist you in any way possible.