Police Chief Clay Mahaney recently announced his bid for re-election to a second term.
During his tenure, Mahaney, a 26-year law enforcement veteran, has implemented many changes in the department.
He began by dedicating an officer to the drug task force. According to Mahaney, joining forces with the District 27 DTF has since served as an asset to the city and the rest of the community.
“We have reaped the benefits of several arrests and convictions including the seizure of 1,000 pounds of marijuana that was seized while coming through our city,” Mahaney said. “Our unification with other local, state and federal agencies targeted a long-time drug problem, and netted several arrests, along with seizures that included real estate within the city.”
The department’s affiliation with the District 27 Drug Task Force has meant more than 200 arrests during the last four years, along with the seizure of 150 methamphetamine labs, with about one-third of those within the Tahlequah city limits. The department also has members who participate in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Eastern District of Oklahoma Violent Crime Task Force.
“We have partnered with these groups for two main reasons: I believe cooperation and working together reaps benefits for law enforcement, and we want to provide the best protection possible for the citizens of Tahlequah,” Mahaney said. “Our people deserve the best law enforcement and I believe we give them that.”
Mahaney said the working relationship with all of our law enforcement agencies is at the highest it has ever been.
“That is one subject that I promised I would do and I have done it, the community is a much safer place when all departments work together for the people.”
Education and continued training has also been TPD’s agenda during Mahaney’s time at the helm. Officers were trained in specialized fields, a K-9 handler and another K-9, “Bo,” was acquired to replace the recently retired K-9, “Duke.”
“We also have an officer who has received training as a drug recognition expert, giving us two officers trained in that field; also an officer trained in the DARE program to teach our students how to resist drugs, violence and bullying in our schools,” said Mahaney.
“We were also involved with a multi-jurisdictional training with several local and state law enforcement agencies along with our local schools at the vo-tech to illustrate how officers respond to the threat of an active shooter in schools.”
School zones are monitored closely by police to keep children safe on their way to and from school.
“New vehicles and equipment have been purchased, while continuing to stay within the budget,” said Mahaney. “Our fleet is one of the main things we have to keep up to provide the best possible protection for our city. Arrests were also made on our major violent crimes, including a recent double homicide, and a home invasion where homeowners were assaulted and property was taken.”
During Mahaney’s tenure, the department has continued to be a partner with Help-In-Crisis, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s office on an Encourage to Arrest grant that targets domestic violence and sexual assault cases. The department took 21 sexual assault reports from January to June that resulted in 19 arrests and 67 domestic assault reports that netted 62 apprehensions. Two arrests have also been made in cases where adult men were targeting underage girls on the Internet.
Mahaney has maintained an open-door policy throughout his term, and invites his employees, as well as the citizens, to come by and visit with him about their concerns.
Mahaney, a 1982 Tahlequah High School graduate, has worked for the Stilwell and Tahlequah police departments. He has been a DARE officer, and is a former Buckledown Award winner for his efforts in traffic safety.
The chief attended Northeastern State University and is a Cherokee tribal citizen, as well as a member of the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Cherokee County Cattlemans Association and Cherokee Masonic Lodge No. 10. He has received training from the Oklahoma Municipal League for newly elected officials, and has more than 1,000 hours of CLEET training.
Mahaney is the son of Katie and the late Clyde Mahaney. He and wife Autumn are longtime Tahlequah residents. The couple has two children and two grandchildren. Mahaney is of the Baptist faith.
“I have accomplished some of my goals for the city and department, but still have some to meet,” Mahaney said. “I hope you will consider my record for the last four years and choose to re-elect me as your chief of police so I can continue to help TPD grow and prosper and meet more of my goals for this agency.”
Police Chief Clay Mahaney recently announced his bid for re-election to a second term.
- Local News
Sherman Alexie Jr., self-professed “res” American Indian, dislikes casinos, mascots and Oklahoma for stealing his favorite basketball team.
Northeastern State University welcomed the celebrated poet, writer and filmmaker to campus Wednesday, and the audience was treated to 90 minutes of witty and unblinking observation from the perspective of an American Indian all-too-familiar with life on a reservation.
Alexie, named one of the 21st Century’s top 20 writers by The New Yorker, delivered what was essentially a standup monologue to a packed house in the auditorium of the W. Roger Webb Educational Technology Center. Some of Alexie’s best-known works are “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” a book of short stories, and the film “Smoke Signals.”
Woman serving time for burning baby seeks judicial review
A Cherokee County mother sentenced to 17 years in prison for burning her 14-month-old baby with an iron is asking for a judicial review.
Court records show Jodi Leann Rock, 21, requested a copy of her judgment and sentence, and this week filed an application for a judicial review. Copies of her request have been submitted to a judge and the District Attorney’s Office.
Concerns expressed as SB 573 awaits House vote
With an Oklahoma Senate bill now awaiting a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, some parents are voicing concerns about the futures of rural K-8 schools in Cherokee County.
Senate Bill 573 calls for a commission to establish charter schools throughout the state. A charter school receives taxpayer funding, but functions independently. They can be founded by an array of interests, including teachers, parents, universities and nonprofits. In Oklahoma, tribal entities can establish charter schools.
Man gets suspended sentence for possession
A 37-year-old Webbers Falls man has been given a suspended sentence on drug-possession charges.
Dusty Kayl Skaggs was charged with endeavoring to manufacture methamphetamine earlier this year after he and 43-year-old Misty Hayes Paden, of Muskogee, were arrested during execution of a search warrant.
NSU students observe Earth Day
Students and members of the community converged on Northeastern State University’s Second Century Square on Tuesday to spend an afternoon celebrating Earth Day.
The event featured tables sponsored by campus organizations, prizes and music by Chris Espinoza. NSU’s Earth Day theme was “Gather Here. Go Green,” and was organized by the Committee for Sustainability and the Northeastern Student Government Association (NSGA).
Rural smallholders host annual show
More and more, many people are showing growing interest in learning the sources of their food, including meat. As such, interest in farm-to-table living is increasing.
Saturday, the Rural Smallholders Association held its annual spring show at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds, promoting the farming of sheep and goats, along with giving the general public a sample of their products.
Wanted man nabbed during traffic stop
Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a wanted man this week after a traffic stop near South Muskogee and Willis Road.
Hurley D. Pitts, 40, was being sought by authorities on a motion to revoke a previous sentence.
Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrick Snyder said he stopped a car after it ran off the road a couple of times. A woman was behind the wheel, and Pitts was sitting in the passenger seat.
Communiversity Band performs Sunday
Musicians from on and off the Northeastern State University campus have made their final preparations for an upcoming performance of the NSU Communiversity Band.
The ensemble performs Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m., in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. The conductor is Dr. Norman Wika, associate professor of music and band program director. Guest conductor is student Kameron Parmain. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.
“Everything has come together very well this semester,” Wika said.
“We have about 40 musicians, and everyone who started the rehearsals has stuck with it. This could be the best Community Band concert yet.”
Council concerned over reports of land contamination
Negotiations involving the purchase of nearly 20 homes on 7 acres of land near Basin Avenue hit a snag Monday night when concerns surfaced over potential contamination of the area.
Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols had proposed the city purchase the homes and duplexes as a large step in a greenbelt project, which would establish a solid park and trail system from the downtown area to the site of the city’s old solid waste transfer station.
Until Monday, details of the negotiations had been mostly discussed behind closed doors, though Nichols confirmed the list price for the property to be $480,000.
Council tables cell tower permit apps
Tahlequah city councilors on Monday opted to hold off on approval of two special-use permit applications that would help AT&T install a couple of 150-foot cell towers within the city.
Branch Communications is asking for the permits as it attempts to construct two monopole cell towers – one on Commercial Road near Green Country Funeral Home, and another at the Tahlequah Public Schools bus barn on Pendleton Street. Other towers are being built outside of the city limits.
Members of the city’s planning and zoning board gave their OK for both permits last month.
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