Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

October 24, 2013

City to hire resource officer for Heritage

TAHLEQUAH — City councilors have given the go-ahead to introduce a fifth school resource officer whose primary duty will be to police Heritage Elementary School and the Southridge area.

The new officer’s salary will be paid by the city, and Tahlequah Public Schools will equip the SRO with a vehicle and uniform, according to Police Chief Nate King.

Ward 4 Councilor Linda Spyres, during a special council meeting Monday evening, asked King whether TPS would have an officer in every school with the addition of a fifth SRO position.

King explained that TPS now has an SRO at the high school, middle school, and one who patrols the four elementary schools. A fourth position is funded through a separate TPS agreement with Cherokee County officials.

“If something happens, [the new SRO] could leave the school?” Spyres asked King.

King confirmed the officer would be able to assist other school sites, if needed.

“I just can’t imagine an officer being out there six hours or seven hours a day and that’s all he does,” Spyres said.

According to King, heavy traffic on the south end of the city often hampers response times of officers.

“One thing about Southridge and Heritage Elementary is, given our traffic situation in Tahlequah, especially during high-traffic times ... [they] become somewhat segregated from the city of Tahlequah,” said King. “It takes an officer triple the amount of time to get to that portion of town because there’s so much traffic.”

King said the new SRO will be responsible for patrolling the Southridge area, including nearby housing and apartment complexes. He or she will take reports from that area of town when on duty.

“The intent of this officer is to not work the ball games and after-school activities as much as the other SROs; therefore, in the summer time, and probably Christmas break, or fall break, or Thanksgiving break, that officer would roll over and become a day shift officer for the police department,” said King.

“We would see some benefit – an officer we could assign special tasks like handicapped parking, downtown parking on main street, walking the beat on main street and enforcing some of that parking.”

King believes the new SRO could provide special-emphasis patrol four or five months a year for the city.

The new position will be open first to current officers in the Tahlequah Police Department. The officer chosen for the position is expected to begin working in his or her new role next semester.

“I know just in the talks of this, there are close to half a dozen officers who are champing at the bit for this position,” King said.

The current salary for each existing SRO is about $34,000.

Mayor Jason Nichols said the city will have to make a fund transfer later in the year to cover the cost of the new SRO.

jnewton@tahlequahdailypress.com

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ts-Trail-show-1.jpg Jackson takes prize

    Cherokee Heritage Center Museum Curator Mickel Yantz kicked off his 10th anniversary at the venue with the opening of the 43rd annual Trail of Tears Art Show this past Friday.
    “The Trail of Tears show was my first exhibit opening when I arrived 10 years ago,” said Yantz. “Since that time, the show has changed so dramatically; we’ve added so many new artists, and the art work has excelled over time. It’s like Christmas for me.”
    Yantz said he was exceptionally pleased with the opening reception.
    “We had a fantastic turnout,” said Yantz. “We had a lot of fun and sold some artwork, which is great for opening night.”
    The exhibit is on display at the Cherokee Heritage Center through May 26. This year’s show features 130 pieces of art spanning eight different categories, including basketry, graphics, jewelry, miniature, painting, pottery and sculpture.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • churchguy.jpg Some NSU students find Church of Monett offensive

    They turn heads every time they show up on campus, and some students at Northeastern State University are offended by their presence.
    The Church of Monett, Mo., has made periodic trips to Tahlequah to stage quiet demonstrations in public campus spaces in recent years. They carry signs that read, “Wives, Obey your Husbands,”; “To be Married to the divorced is Adultery”; and “Don’t be deceived: fornicators homosexuals idolaters adulterers thieves drunkards - shall not inherit God’s Kingdom.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teen sent to hospital after being struck by tractor-trailer

    An 18-year-old Tahlequah man was struck by a tractor-trailer early Tuesday morning on the State Highway 51 bypass near Mimosa Lane.
    Tahlequah Police Capt. Tom Jones said officers responded to the scene at about 5:40 a.m., when Sage Sohns was found injured and lying in the road. A medical helicopter responded to the scene to transport Sohns to a Tulsa hospital, where he was being treated for a closed-head injury, police said.

    April 16, 2014

  • TPS board hears architect presentations for cafeteria

    Members of the Tahlequah Public Schools Board of Education heard from four architectural firms seeking a contract for construction at Cherokee Elementary School.
    TPS plans to build a cafeteria-auditorium and a music room with a stage, which may also serve as a safe room during storms.

    April 16, 2014

  • Briggs.jpg Local man hit with assault, burglary charges

    Prosecutors have formally charged a Tahlequah man accused of breaking into a motel room, tying a rope around a man’s neck and stabbing him repeatedly with a syringe.
    Jimmy Dale Briggs Jr., 33, is charged with first-degree burglary, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and two counts of threatening to perform an act of violence.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boy whose mom scolded deputies in trouble again

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 15-year-old theft suspect Monday night after he allegedly assaulted his brother.
    Deputy Kim Novak said authorities were dispatched to a home and ultimately took the teen into custody. While there, they also discovered items that had been reported stolen, including a bed and several tools.
    Novak said the teen is the same boy who has previously been found to be in possession of stolen items.

    April 16, 2014

  • plane-crash-1-a.jpg Plane crash victims recovering

    Two Arkansas men remained in a Tulsa hospital Monday after the plane they were flying crashed into a wooded area in Cookson.
    According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the 1946 Ercoupe 415 crashed under “unknown circumstances” about a mile from the Tenkiller Air Park in Cookson Saturday morning.
    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says 75-year-old John McCreary and 85-year-old Albert Demarco Jr., both of Ozark, Ark., were flown from Cookson to St. John Medical Center in Tulsa.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • walker-terrance.jpg Man taken for blood sample confuses hospital with hotel

    Tahlequah police say an Austin, Texas, man stopped Saturday mistook a local hospital for a hotel when he was taken to have his blood drawn.
    Officer Cory Keele’s affidavit says 20-year-old Terrance Walker was driving south on Muskogee Avenue at about 2 a.m. Saturday, swerving from one line to another.
    Keele tried to stop the car near Muskogee and Chickasaw, and Walker eventually slowed to a stop near South Street.
    Walker opened the car door as Keele approached. The officer said Walker had dilated pupils.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • ennis-scottie.jpg Knife-cutting incident lands man in jail

    A Tahlequah man jailed for allegedly cutting a woman with a kitchen knife was released on a recognizance bond Monday.
    Scottie Lee Ennis, 42, was arrested after Officer Austin Yates was sent to Tahlequah City Hospital late Friday night.
    There, Yates spoke with Jennifer Pennell, who had apparently suffered a stab wound to her arm.
    Pennell told Yates she and her husband, Ennis, had gone to Dewain’s Place earlier in the evening, and while at the bar, a man bought her a drink.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • hawley-jeremy.jpg Tahlequah man bonds out after arrest for assault

    A 22-year-old Tahlequah man bonded out of jail Monday after his weekend arrest on domestic assault charges.
    Jeremy Hawley was booked into jail Sunday for domestic assault and battery in the presence of a minor and interfering with a 911 call.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Stocks