During his weekly Chief Chat on March 1, Nate King updated the community on the types of calls the Tahlequah Police Department responded to.
King said officers were dispatched to a total of 3,422 calls in February.
“Out of those, 421 were traffic stops, 158 were pedestrian stops,” said King. “We also had an additional 1,754 building checks for the month. Our detectives were assigned 49 cases during the month. Out of those, they closed 24 of them.”
King recognized Officer Mitchell Sellers for having the highest number of calls. Officer Jacob Robertson took the most reports for February, and Sgt. Bryan Qualls had the most traffic stops.
“For February, we had 15 burglaries, we had 17 thefts, and it was a good month,” he said. “A lot of the thefts we’re dealing with right now are people stealing cars, and the majority of those cars have been stolen while they’ve been started in the morning, warming up.”
Some stolen vehicles have been recovered by TPD or other agencies.
“We are looking at those stolen vehicles, altering our patrols, and urging you to please lock your car when it’s running. Don’t leave your car running outside with it unlocked,” said King.
TPD started its budget process for the next fiscal year.
“Departments came together last year and we reported to last year by the city administration, to the mayor, about the financial situation in the city,” said King. “Basically words were used, ‘If things didn’t change, we may have to close the doors.’ We were in dire straits [and] department heads came together last year and whittled our budgets down.”
King said they’re seeing elevated tax revenue, along with CARES Act funds that replenished money spent during the pandemic.
“We have a unique revenue stream in Tahlequah, unlike several of our sister cities in the state. Our revenue stream is a little more finicky than in other cities. We rely heavily on sales tax revenue and when our economy is down, our revenues go down,” said King.
April 17 will be the 11th annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes at Norris Park, and King said that event will be a little different this year.
“This year will be an in-person walk, but we will not have a lot of the other activities that typically happen during Walk a Mile,” he said. “There won’t be the carnival-type atmosphere at Norris Park; it will simply be a walk.”
The theme for this year’s event is Rise Up Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
“Men, I’m speaking to you here a lot; silence does not change anything socially,” said King. “Silence does not change the social norm, so I’m asking you to get involved to stand up to say domestic violence is wrong. Domestic violence will not be tolerated in Tahlequah, in our community."
The training for the month focuses on jailer training to help law enforcement become more efficient.
“I’m going to remind you of something to give you a thought for the week: to change takes action on our parts. For you to change, you have to take action, and the opportunity to change or the excuse to stay are the same; both lie solely with you,” said King.
King will go live on the TPD Facebook page on Monday, March 8 at noon.