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
Walk a Mile 2014
Men squeezed into feminine footwear Saturday by the hundreds to walk in solidarity with women on the issue of sexual violence – and their clop-clop-clopping echoed down Muskogee Avenue.
The fourth annual “Walk a Mile In Her Shoes” brought men to Norris Park, accompanied by their enthusiastic female supporters, to walk – and often wobble – in high heels over a mile-long course to raise funds for Help-In-Crisis.
“It hurts every year,” said John Christie, a Sequoyah High School student participating in his third Walk a Mile. “I get home, sit down, blisters come up and the calves hurt. But it is worth it. It’s for a good cause.”
Michigan man gets 13 years on plea to rape, sodomy of girl
A 28-year-old Michigan man will spend about 13 years in an Oklahoma state prison after pleading guilty to four counts of first-degree rape and one count of sodomy involving a 13-year-old girl.
Christopher Dale Adams, of Lake Orion, Mich., received a 13-year prison sentence for each of the five charges, to be followed by seven years suspended. All sentences will run concurrently.
Police take down pair on pot distribution charge
Tahlequah police officers arrested a pair Sunday night for allegedly possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it.
Tahlequah Officer Cody Warren said police were asked to investigate when 35-year-old Amy N. Logan, of Tahlequah, allegedly took a family member’s car without permission.
While Warren was speaking with the owners of the vehicle, Logan arrived along with 26-year-old Theoplilus James Mollie, of Tulsa.
Two nailed with meth, pot hidden in bag of chips
Two people were arrested early Monday morning when Tahlequah police stopped a vehicle near Basin Avenue and found methamphetamine and marijuana hidden in a bag of chips.
Tahlequah Officer Cory Keele said he noticed a Nissan heading north on Park Hill Road, and the vehicle later stopped in an intersection.
Nylon case doesn’t fool deputy; drug charges to be filed
A Tahlequah man is jailed at the Cherokee County Detention Center after being arrested on drug possession charges.
Deputy Michael Cates stopped Johnny Lee Gawf, 25, near Stick Ross Mountain Road and U.S. Highway 62. Gawf did not have his driver’s license and had a no-bond warrant for failure to pay.
When Gawf was asked to step out of his vehicle, he allegedly reached into a pocket and pulled out a black nylon case, which he claimed to be a pocket knife. Gawf sat the case in the seat of the vehicle.
Dual citizenship still OK for tribes
It’s been almost a year since the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma was forced to close its casino, leaving about 150 members without jobs.
Right before the operations was shuttered, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker offered a plan to absorb UKB employees, scheduling three employment registration meetings in September 2013.
TPS to hold graduation at Doc Wadley, after all
A letter obtained by the Tahlequah Daily Press states that graduation exercises for the Tahlequah High School Class of 2014 will be held at Doc Wadley Stadium on May 23.
Tahlequah Public Schools received an invitation from the city and Northeastern State University to hold the graduation ceremony inside the NSU multipurpose event center, and the district was initially agreeable. But the necessity of limiting invitations to 10 or 15 per student because of seating concerns drew heavy criticism from seniors and parents.
Woman allegedly went after relative, then cop
Deputies say a 22-year-old woman assaulted a family member Saturday, then attacked an officer when he tried to arrest her.
Deputy Bryan Qualls was sent to investigate the domestic disturbance at Hilltop Circle. Donna Wilder, the alleged victim, told Qualls that the suspect, Kaylynn Sharp, was hiding in the garage, and had struck her in the face several times.
City of Tahlequah progressing on bond projects
Just more than a year after the city began collecting a sales tax funds for use on capital improvements, crews continue to work toward finishing several of the projects.
“We’re going to deliver everything we said we would,” Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols said Friday.
The $21-million-plus bond issue approved in 2013 includes about $10 million worth of street projects. South Muskogee Avenue will eventually be widened into a five-lane stretch; East Fourth Street’s widening project is underway; and West Fourth will become, at least in part, a three-lane road.
Projects will also focus on parts of North Grand, East Allen, Bluff, Crafton, and North Cedar.
Four men charged with burglary
Four local men are facing burglary and stolen-property charges in Cherokee County District Court.
Prosecutors have charged the four men with second-degree burglary and knowingly concealing stolen property.
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