|1889 Oklahoma City Police Dept. Flag|
Wikimedia Commons, https://goo.gl/images/sf6CXK
By Alanna Radle Rodriguez and Judge Rodriguez
Thank you for joining us this month as we continue our series about first responders in our great state.
First allow us to say: we wish to pay our respects to the brave men and women of our military, and let them know our thoughts and prayers are with them, particularly those currently on deployment outside our country and away from their families.
However, we also wish to add our gratitude to those that serve outside of our military forces as well. Also called the thin blue line, this group of dedicated public servants serve to keep us, our families, and our property safe. Our hats are off to you, and our gratitude for all you do.
Over the last several months, we have been covering the history of the Oklahoma City Police Department, and its roots in not only the US Cavalry, but the US Marshall’s Service as well. Last Month we covered from World War II, up to the work stoppage during the 1970’s, over wages.
In the 1980’s, Oklahoma City had both a boom and a bust in finances, as well as population. The population of OKC went, in 1980 from forty-five thousand to over one hundred thirty thousand in 1990. In response to the rapidly increasing crime rate, OCPD instituted a mobile crime unit, forensic training for officers, and a Field Training Program.
|OKC Murrah Building, May 1995|
Taken by Alan Radle, used with permission
On April 19th 1995, when the Oklahoma City bombing happened, one of the first people to make it to the site, mere moments after the explosion, was Sgt. Detective Mike McPherson of the Auto Theft Unit and a Bomb Squad member. He assisted with locating the vin number on the destroyed vehicle, which helped lead the authorities to be able to find Timothy McVeigh.
|Timothy McVeigh during part of the trail in Perry, Oklahoma|
Wikimedia Commons, https://goo.gl/images/xk9YWf
The OKC Bombing was, until September 11th 2001, considered the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil. Although, by definition, it still is the worst act of domestic terrorism to this day. In response to that, the OCPD created an anti-terrorism task force, that is still in existence today. They have been instrumental in thwarting numerous terrorist threats since their inception. They have also been called to train other cities' departments in anti-terrorism.
With the inclusion of body cameras for each officer, OCPD has maintained their status of being one of the most advanced, well trained law enforcement organizations in the state of Oklahoma. They have faced, in their more than one hundred twenty years of existence, numerous challenges and trials. They have met and overcome them all, to become not only one of the oldest, but the largest police force in the state of Oklahoma.
|Oklahoma City Police Honor Guard|
Wikimedia Commons, https://goo.gl/images/5ZZUfA
To the ladies and gentlemen of the OCPD, we tip our hats to you, and say a heartfelt thank you for all you have done and continue to do for the citizens of this great state.
Thank you for joining us this month as we delved into the history of the Oklahoma City Police Department. We hope you enjoyed reading about this great institution, and join us next month, as we start with the history of the Tulsa Police Department.
Born and raised in Edmond, Oklahoma, Alanna Radle Rodriguez is the great-great granddaughter of one of the first pioneers to settle in Indian Territory. Judge was born and raised in Little Axe, Oklahoma, the son of A.F. Veterans. Judge and Alanna love the history of the state and relish in volunteering at the 1889 Territorial Schoolhouse in Edmond. Her first published story, part of a collaborative novella titled Legacy Letters, came out September 2016. Alanna and Judge live with her parents in the Edmond area. They are currently collaborating on a historical fiction series that takes place in pre-statehood Oklahoma.