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.


Text Only
Local News
  • ts honor flight 1.tif Flight of honor

    World War II veteran Charles Harra flew missions for the Army Air Corps, and if you ask him which flight was his most memorable, he’ll say it was his 35th mission.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man charged after leading authorities on wild chase

    Prosecutors have formally charged a man who allegedly led authorities on a wild high-speed pursuit across Cherokee County in late March.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sex offender bonds out after failing to register

    A Cherokee County man is out on bond after being arrested last week for failing to register as a sex offender.

    April 17, 2014

  • jn radiator shop.jpg ‘Greenbelt’ progressing

    Crews this week began to demolish an abandoned radiator shop at the corner of South Street and Guinn Avenue.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts slut walk.tif SlutWalk shines spotlight on crime

    “Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the rape; slut, slut, ho, ho, yes means yes and no means no!”
    This was the battle cry across the campus of Northeastern State University, as the student branch of the American Association of University Women held its third annual SlutWalk Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-TonsOffTahl-A.jpg Tribes, city, NSU launch Tons Off Tahlequah campaign

    When studies are conducted about whether Americans are living healthy lifestyles, Oklahoma often ranks poorly among the states.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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


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.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing