News

now browsing by category

 

Community leaders hash out issues with local legislators at breakfast

Legislative Breakfast 3

By News reporter Daniel Lapham,

Education and rural issues were among the topics discussed on Tuesday as lawmakers met with more than 100 Mustang community leaders, officials, students and professionals at Town Center.

“We need to look at administration consolidation for feeder schools,” said District 47 Rep. Leslie Osborn while discussing teacher pay and the current state of education funding. “In communities where you have schools that stop at the eighth grade, we need to look at consolidating at the top.”

The 2015 Legislative Breakfast was billed as an opportunity for community members to hear from lawmakers about the issues that will be tackled when the Legislature reconvenes next week.

Mustang Pastor Michael Staton moderated the discussion, asking the four lawmakers questions submitted from the audience. In addition to Osborn, District 23 Sen. Ron Justice, District 45 Sen. Kyle Loveless and District 43 Rep. John Paul Jordan sat on the panel.

The first question of the morning from Staton addressed Gov. Mary Fallin’s priorities for the coming year. She has said on the record that her focus will be on education, health and prison reform.

“If you were governor today, would you share Gov. Fallin’s priorities?” asked Staton.

Jordan said although he agrees the issues targeted by Fallin are important, he has a little different perspective.

“Government over-reach would be my top priority,” Jordan said. “I believe our business professionals succeed and our communities benefit when there is minimal government interference.”

Osborn said she would stand with Fallin on prison overcrowding and a greater focus on rehabilitation. She also said government over-reach is an issue and urged the public to pay attention to the upcoming discussions on education.

“We have a new state superintendent of public instruction and I believe she has some good ideas,” Osborn said.

Justice said although he agrees that education is important, he would be more focused on job creation, and public safety would also make his list.

“Education is important but you must have a job to go to after you receive your education,” Justice said. Loveless took a different approach,  applauding Canadian County for its progress in the area of water issues.

“My three priorities start with water,” he said. “Draining a lake is not a plan. We need a sustainable long-term plan for water. I believe Mustang and Canadian County is on the right track.”

Loveless said his other two priorities would be economic diversification and education.

In education, Staton asked the panel their thoughts on replacing the current testing methods with the ACT.

“Yes, I think that is something we may see done this year,” Osborn said.

Jordan said he also would be in favor of using the ACT as a benchmark, but he also urged the public to remember the past.

“I think we need to realize that testing began as aptitude testing,” he said. “They were called aptitude tests and they were designed to see what areas a student was good in. Testing was not intended as a basis for judging the success of a teacher or a school.”

Another question concerning education came up regarding automatic designation in the state budget to fund education.

“We must be careful to automatically designate funds,” Justice said. “It eliminates our ability to adjust.”

Loveless agreed, adding examples of states that have lost control of their budgets.

“Other states like Alabama have 80 percent of their funds set to automatically designate,” Loveless said. “This means they only have control of 20 percent of their budget.”

Jordan said he is all for funding education, but agreed that automatic funding would not be the solution.

“Before I put more money in my pockets, I am gonna sew up the holes,” he said.

Staton asked the lawmakers, “What do you need most from the group listening to you today?”

All four panelists said communication is the number one necessity to do their jobs effectively.

“If you want me to know what is going on in your classroom, invite me to visit your classroom and show me,” Jordan said.

Justice said “two-way communication” is what he prefers.

“I would encourage you not to send those forwards and fill in the blank forms,” he said, referring to group emails. “We care and want to know what you think individually.”

CASA showcases work at open house

CASA 1

By News reporter Daniel Lapham,

An open house at the Gary E. Miller Children’s Justice Center drew about 20 people Monday. The event was held to especially showcase the work done by the Canadian County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

The program, which advocates for minors in the court system, lost its state nonprofit status in 2013 after the former director was charged with embezzlement, said Pamela Kennedy, CASA board member.

“We are so happy to be back and helping the children in our community,” said Krystle Lane, executive director for CASA. “We are looking for volunteers and donors. We currently have 18 volunteers. There are 286 open juvenile cases in the county. We need 100 volunteers immediately to help service these cases.”

CASA employs Lane and one other paid worker who train and supervise the volunteers to advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children.

Lane said anyone interested in volunteering can contact her at (405) 264-5508. Training is provided for all volunteers.

The members of the community who showed up for the open house were given tours of the juvenile justice center and visited with staff about the center and the programs it offers.

District Judge Gary E. Miller and Associate District Judge Bob Hughey were on hand to talk with the visitors. Canadian County Commissioner Marc Hader also attended the event.

“We are here to serve the kids of Canadian County,” said Bill Alexander, co-director for the justice center. “We just hope that we can provide the services needed by our kids and if we can’t, then we hope one of the other providers here can provide the services needed.”

For more information about CASA, visit www.canadiancountycasa.org or call (405) 264-5508.

County deputies discover $5 million worth of cocaine in bust

Cocaine 3

Mustang News staff reports,

In just a little more than a year, Canadian County sheriff’s deputies have made close to 50 drug-related arrests while patrolling Interstate 40. But none of them can compare to the stop made recently when one of the largest cocaine seizures in state history was made.

Deputies pulled over a semi-truck that was hauling cars on Interstate 40 after the driver reportedly swerved onto the shoulder a couple of times. What they discovered was close to $5 million in cocaine, neatly packaged and stashed in a hidden compartment of one of the vehicles on the trailer.

Undersheriff Christ West said lawmen found 77 pounds of cocaine the evening of Jan. 18 after stopping a semi-truck hauling cars on I-40 as it was passing through El Reno. The stop was made about 6:30. The cocaine was found in a hidden compartment that had been created in a 2005 Chrysler Pacifica that was on the top deck of the car hauler.

Deputies had pulled the truck over after the driver veered onto the shoulder several times, West said. The deputies were concerned the driver may have been nodding off or could have been driving under the influence.

The deputies received permission from the driver to search the cars being hauled and that’s when they discovered the cocaine. The cocaine was packaged in 35 individual compressed bricks and wrapped in multiple layers of cellophane, carbon paper, packing tape and graphite powder.

“The graphite powder would have been added in an attempt to mask the drug odors from drug dogs my deputies had at the scene,” said Sheriff Randall Edwards.

According to deputies, the vehicle the drugs were concealed in had been modified with a false compartment built underneath the rear seats. Deputies said whoever fabricated the false compartment had done a “pretty good job,” but they were still able to tell the seats weren’t quite to factory specification.

After deputies determined the truck driver most likely didn’t know anything about the cocaine, they seized the Chrysler and released the driver with the other four vehicles. The truck was apparently headed for Oklahoma City as its final destination with the vehicles.

“Unlike many of the drug busts we make, these drugs were destined for distribution in Oklahoma City,” Edwards said. He said there’s a good possibility the cocaine could have found its way into Canadian County.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of my deputies and their hard work and dedication,” said Edwards.

West said from January of 2014 to the present, deputies have made 12 arrests, described as “distribution size.” Another 34 arrests were made for “possession size” drug offenses. This was the second time deputies have found drugs hidden in a car being hauled on a semi. Both times the driver of the semi apparently was not aware of the illegal substance being hauled.

Valerie Hammer named MHS Teacher of the Year

MHS TOY

Mustang News staff reports,

When Valerie Hammer was young, her heart would race every time the teacher passed out the worksheet displaying little Johnny’s grammatically incorrect letter. She couldn’t wait to get hold of the red pen to underline every run-on sentence or circle every uncapitalized proper noun. Hammer, head of the English Department and one of Mustang High School’s Teachers of the Year, seemed destined to be an editor or a teacher.

She was so good at debating, though, she was on the path to be an attorney via a bachelor’s in business. An advertising professor believed she had a flair for communication, though, and suggested an English major on the way to law school.

“As all my friends know, I am one who likes a bargain. So I figured I might as well grab a few education hours along the way just to get practical experience,” she said. “Little did I know, this would be the turning point.”

The classes were not particularly captivating, but the student teaching sealed the deal. It was a challenging, changing environment and she was hooked. She took her first teaching job in a small town south of Dallas. She was handed a student textbook, a ream of paper to ration for the entire year, and was thrust into a classroom of hand-picked struggling students.

For the first two months, she cried every night.

One day at the end of the class, she found a hateful note written about her laying on the classroom floor.

“At that point, I decided to either figure out the secret or get out of the field,” she said. “I’m not sure I have discovered the full secret, but I have made strides toward success. After my first three years in that school, I learned to teach with humor and high expectations. Eventually I gained enough respect to earn Kaufman Teacher of the Year. Today with 20-plus years of experience at Mustang High School, I refuse to ease educational standards in my classroom. I prepare my students for the future and I expect their best.”

She serves as the English Department head and takes part in the Leadership Committee, Climate Committee, Hospitality Committee, Retirement Committee, as emcee of various school events and more. Hammer likes her students to be honest, accountable and to simply try. Grading can be tedious and bad attitudes trying, but Hammer loves her students.

“They make me laugh, even when I’m having a bad day,” she said. “They make me happy when they learn. They are my paycheck. I’ve had a few opportunities to leave the profession, but my heart just won’t let go.”

A few years ago, she signed up for Remind 101, a service that allows teachers to send text messages to groups of students. The students can sign up or opt out of receiving messages. Hammer sends out typical class reminders plus a few witty messages about life. The majority of her former students, long graduated, have never stopped the service. One of them, who wasn’t particularly fond of school, flagged her down at a stop light recently.

“Mrs. Hammer,” he yelled, “you were the only teacher I ever liked in high school. Keep it up, and I love reading your text messages.”

Hammer is one of 14 Teachers of the Year for Mustang Public Schools. In March, one of the teachers will be chosen as District Teacher of the Year and will represent Mustang Public Schools in the state contest.

Tom Wolfe named Canyon Ridge Teacher of the Year

Canyon Ridge TOY

Mustang News staff reports,

With fanfare and a giant paper snake of notes from the students, Canyon Ridge Intermediate Center announced science teacher Tom Wolfe had been voted Teacher of the Year. Wolfe has been a teacher for seven years, all of them in the Mustang School District.

Although the announcement was made in December, he’s still surprised by the honor.

“Let’s say you go to the car lot and here are all these nice, new cars,” he said. “They’re sporty and shiny and elegant and cool. Those are the teachers I work with. Then there’s always this rusty station wagon at the back. That’s me. I see all of them as these great things to aspire to. I don’t perceive myself this way.”

A day in the classroom is not a day at work for Wolfe; it’s a day to lead young people through hours of exploration. He said he’s not sure he’s ever had a bad day teaching because he simply can’t remember one. It seems he was made to teach at an intermediate center.

“Sixth-graders are the coolest,” he said. “They are at that age when their minds are opening up. They’re beginning to see how fascinating the world really is. They’re always asking questions. I love that about them.”

Wolfe likes to take advantage of professional development opportunities during the summer. There was one during the summer after his second year in a classroom that revolutionized the way he teaches. He was selected to tour the state with 14 middle school students and experience how scientists teach science in the field. When the tour was over, his classroom was no longer a place to meet to discuss science, it was a tool to prepare students for learning.

“I stopped looking at my class and seeing what is,” he said. “I started seeing what could be.”

To set a tone and raise the students’ expectations for what’s possible in Wolfe’s classroom, he has Bitey, a Florida king snake, and Oreo, a California banded snake. There’s a pair of salamanders and some crawdads. The students’ interaction with the class pets becomes a continuous lesson in conservation.

If he wants to take the class outside, he puts on athletic “toe” shoes and a hat, once again raising the expectations and increasing the interest in the lesson.

“If I put that on – and my hat on – they go crazy,” he said. “They think it’s going to be the greatest day of their life. Whatever is about to go on must be crazy for me to dress like that.”

He has kids who step in the door and it’s obvious to Wolfe they have a knack for science. They’re not always the students who make straight A’s, but they bring in wasps nests for him to examine and do experiments at home. One student this year routinely brings bugs in from the playground. From what she’s learned in class, she points out to him the characteristics that make each one a different species.

The way he sees it, he’s learning right along with the kids.

“If I come in and I don’t know something, I can tell them, ‘Hey, I’ve got this question and I don’t know.’ If I throw it to them, maybe we can put together a quick experiment and explore something. All of a sudden, they’re doing science instead of hearing me talk or doing worksheets.”

Wolfe posed a question to the class recently based on something he heard: Does cold water or boiling water freeze first? They devised an experiment and put a cup of near boiling water outside with a cup of cold water. Each class went outside to measure the temperature of both cups and the air. They also measured the ice once it started to form. They made a chart of their results and then followed it up with a graph. They discovered the hot water formed ice crystals first, but the cold water had thicker ice at the end of the experiment. Once the results were tallied, they wrote about their findings. Wolfe prefers for the experiment to come first, and then vocabulary is built on the lessons rather than studying vocabulary and then hoping to squeeze in time for a hands-on activity.

His goal is for the students to learn to think, write and explore like scientists. His philosophy for teaching is evident throughout his classroom.

“I’m culturing microbes growing over there,” he said, gesturing to the far wall. “While I’m teaching myself, I’m teaching the students. We’re doing an experiment on radishes. I’m having the time of my life every day. I work with great teachers and great administrators. I can’t picture a better place to be than right here, right now.”

Feb. 10 vote on county tax canceled by commissioners

Untitled-1

By Mustang News reporter, Daniel Lapham

Canadian County commissioners have canceled a Feb. 10 election that could have changed the way a .35 cent county sales tax is allocated and are again tossing out the idea of forming a county jail trust.

The action came in a special meeting last week. The idea of forming a jail trust had been mentioned in November, but commissioners did not believe there was enough time to thoroughly research the issue. Time became less critical after last week’s ruling by an Oklahoma County judge that returned full funding to the Gary E. Miller Children’s Justice Center.

That funding was interrupted after an Oklahoma attorney general’s opinion said the permanent sales tax, approved by voters in 1996, was not following the original ballot language.

Because of this opinion, commissioners had to move quickly to keep the doors open at the juvenile justice center. They voted to spend “use tax” funds to pay for salaries and programs at the center until the language in the resolution was fixed. A ballot was drafted and approved by commissioners that would have set aside 86 percent of the .35 cent tax to fund salaries, operations and programs at the justice center, while the remaining 14 percent would be allocated for the justice center or for other county needs as determined by the commissioners.

Disagreement surfaced and a lawsuit was filed against the commissioners and the AG opinion by Sheriff Randall Edwards, two former commissioners and members of the citizens advisory committee to the juvenile center.

Oklahoma County Judge Roger Stuart disagreed with the AG opinion, calling it too narrow, and ordered the sales tax be used to fund operations, including salaries and programs operated by the juvenile center.

It was that ruling, commissioners said, that now gives them time to further study the idea of the jail trust authority that could oversee the county jail as well as the juvenile center.

“I believe this temporary injunction allows us to step back and develop a comprehensive plan to deal with the problems with the juvenile justice center,” said Commissioner David Anderson.

Anderson said the issues the AG opinion brought to light need time to be resolved and go deeper than the wording on a ballot.

“I believe one real problem is a clear defined structure of government,” Anderson said. “There seems to be misunderstandings in the organizational structure of the juvenile justice center.”

Anderson said one example of that came through a phone call he received on Jan. 10 asking him about a press release issued by the juvenile justice center.

“I did not know anything about a press release issued from the county,” Anderson said. “Who is in charge of approving press releases from the county? Are we not the governing authority of the county,” Anderson asked. “Another example is a statement from Judge Bob Hughey while on the stand. He said if the injunction was not approved by the judge, he would have to fire employees at the justice center. Are they his employees or are they our employees? These are just a few of the things that have happened to bring awareness that there is confusion as to the structure of government in the county.”

Commission Chairman Jack Stewart said he too received a phone call last weekend from “a television station” asking for his response to things he had not heard about.

“We apparently got slammed on the news,” Stewart said.

District 1 Commissioner Marc Hader said he wanted to stress that the public understand the injunction is only a temporary fix to deeper issues.

“This injunction doesn’t answer these questions,” Hader said.

Anderson agreed, saying this gives “everyone an opportunity” to address the issues.

“We had talked about forming a trust authority that would govern the justice center, but there just wasn’t enough time,” Anderson said.

The idea of forming a county jail trust authority first came up in November. At that time, Anderson said he had done some research, but not enough. Stewart said he had little knowledge of a trust of this nature. Hader had not yet been sworn into office.

Anderson said at the time, Tulsa, Grady, Pottawatomi and Rogers counties all operated with county jail trust authorities. The idea drew cautious support from Sheriff Edwards, but Undersheriff Chris West said at the time “the details would have to be worked out.”

Canceling the election will cost the county just over $12,000 for the ballots, which have already been printed, and an additional cost for new ballots that will include school district elections.

County youth speak out at Redlands Community College

Listening Conference Mustang Girl

By Editor, Ray Dyer

The annual Youth Speak Out Conference was held Wednesday at Redlands Community College. The event brings together teens from throughout Canadian County for one reason: to tell adults what’s going on in their lives and share concerns about the issues they face on a daily basis.

Organized by the Mustang Prevention and Coalition Team, El Reno Leadership Class, and the Yu Can Coalition, students addressed the audience made up of educators, lawmen, political leaders and professionals on a variety of issues.

Some of the topics covered by the students were drinking and driving, bullying, religion and cultural awareness, school and stress, sex education, high stakes testing, texting and driving, drug testing, community service, leadership and college prep.

Some other areas included in the discussion were 7th hour sports, lunch issues, fine arts facilities and snacks in schools.

The mission statement for the event reads: To provide a structured forum for youth to present their views, opinions, and solutions on issues that they face to a listening panel comprised of elected officials and community leaders who are in a position to take action based on the presentations of the youth.

Four county farms earn Ranch Award

Centennial Farm Erin Carl Schroeder Farm 3 2013

By Mustang News reporter, Daniel Lapham

Four Canadian County farms have been named recipients of the Oklahoma Centennial Ranch Award.

The Jimmie D. Miller Ranch, located northwest of Calumet; the Michael Rott Farm, located southwest of Okarche; the Herman Schroeder Farm, located south of Okarche; and the Woods Homestead Farm, located southwest of Union City join the 58 farms located in the county that have been family-owned and operated for more than 100 years.

To qualify for a Centennial Farm or Ranch Award, a property must be owned by a family member for at least 100 years and must be operated or occupied by a family member or leased out by a family member over the age of 65. The property must include a minimum of 40 acres and gross annual sales of at least $1,000. The Oklahoma Historical Society and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry have sponsored the Centennial Farm and Ranch Awards for 25 years.

Jimmie Jack and Bridget Smith of Geary own the Jimmie D. Miller Ranch located northwest of Calumet. The family has grown wheat and milo and run cattle and horses there since great-grandfather, James Eli Small (also known as James D. Miller) purchased the land in 1913.

Jimmie Jack Smith, 62, said he is humbled and honored to receive an award that represents so much history and deep roots in the land he grew up on.

“My mother, Jimmie Miller Smith was raised here,” Smith said. “My grandfather was raised here. My kids were raised here. It’s the best way to grow up. You learn responsibility and hard work and reward and it’s how you learn the value of things and the importance of taking care of things. If you take care of it, it will last and take care of you.”

Minnie R. Schroeder of Oklahoma City owns the Michael Rott Farm and the Herman Schroeder Farm, both near Okarche. The family has grown wheat, milo and run cattle since father-in-law, Herman Schroeder purchased the land in 1914. The family has worked the Michael Rott Farm since grandfather, Michael Rott, purchased the land in 1894. Schroeder, 87, said her son, Carl Schroeder, currently runs both farms.

“I am overjoyed with receiving this award,” Schroeder said. “It’s exciting and I hope the kids will continue to keep it in the family. Farming draws us closer to God. We can till the ground and sow the seed, but the rest is up to God. It makes us trust Him more.”

William Woods of Union City owns the Woods Homestead Farm located southwest of Union City. The family has grown wheat, milo, corn, barley, hay and cotton since great-grandparents, Peter B. and Minnie Woods purchased the land in 1910.

Smith said many farmers and ranchers hold their land as an extension of themselves and to be recognized for working the land through the generations generates a great deal of pride.

“I thought it was kind of an honor and I am quite proud of it. The land is important to us out here,” Smith said. “It’s everything. I tell the kids I have been bucked off of my horse on every square foot of this place at one time or another. We have 160 acres right here and then adjacent, my mom still owns a couple thousand acres that was purchased later on.”

When land is passed down from generation to generation it becomes a part of who you are and a living historical record that connects the generations, Smith said.

“The land was purchased from an Indian named Bad Buffalo,” he said. “We still have the original warranty deed. You know I often walk around out here and it’s something to think about. My great-granddad and granddad all walked in these same footsteps. They walked this same land.”

When families have those kinds of roots it serves as an anchor, Smith said.

“I can’t necessarily speak for the community, but I can speak for me. I can’t hardly express to you what this land means to me. I’d rather lose an arm than lose this land.”

Commissioners discuss changes with hopes to increase community involvement

Untitled-1

By Mustang News reporter, Daniel Lapham

In his first month as District 1 commissioner, Marc Hader is introducing ideas to get Canadian County residents more involved.

On Tuesday, Hader presented two ideas he said could bring together members of the communities from across the county. The first is to invite ministers or residents with a passion for prayer from each of the commissioners’ districts to lead the corporate prayer. In addition, he proposed to invite veterans to lead in the pledge to begin each meeting. Rodney French, who is the chaplain for the sheriff’s department, has led the corporate prayer for several years. Hader said French is a friend and his ideas have nothing to do with the service French has done for the county.

“I think he may have gotten his feelings hurt and I am sorry for that. It is no reflection on him whatsoever,” Hader said. “This is a way that we can connect at a greater level to the community. On the pledge, we have a lot of veterans in our communities and I believe this can give us a way to meet our veterans and to acknowledge them for their service.”

The second idea presented by Hader would change the regular meeting schedule to allow for one of the regular weekly meetings each month to be held in the evening and in different locations across the county. Commissioners have historically met at 9 a.m. each Monday. Hader said this would give residents who work during the day an opportunity to be involved in their county government.

“I think we should start it in El Reno and then branch out from there,” said Jack Stewart, District 3 commissioner. “I like the idea of getting more of the community involved, though.”

No action was taken on changing the meeting schedule. Commissioners agreed to look further into the possibilities.

“I want us to be as accountable, accessible and transparent as possible to the community,” Hader said. “We want to be available to them. I know this could be a bit of a burden to the staff, but I think it is worth it to reach out to the community in an effort to have them to reach back.”

Commissioner David Anderson brought up the idea of recording the meeting to broadcast it on local cable channels or to stream it over the Internet.

“I would really like to see us broadcast video of our meetings much like the cities do,” Anderson said.

Hader agreed that video would be an excellent way to make county government more accessible to the community.

Hader also proposed adding an additional staff position to the commissioners department, which would be in addition to the current first and second deputy positions.

“I was generally proposing that we hire one more person under the commissioners and that we interview a wide range of persons with a broad range of qualities,” Hader said. “I would like someone to be able to take on some more of the duties in the commissioners offices.”

With the new position, Hader suggested that the two deputy positions also be restructured, creating a system where each commissioner has an assistant.

“The title of first deputy is more of a small county type of model,” Hader said. “I would like to start the process to change the mindset from just a secretarial position to an executive type role. I want this person to be capable of representing me in a meeting. These positions would be filled by someone whose job will be a liaison for the commissioners. I would want to do away with the first and second deputy positions and to give one position per commissioner.”

Hader said he does not want the perception to be that he does not value the current staff, but he also wants to cast a broad net in order to be able to have the opportunity to hire “the best and brightest,” whether they work for us now or not.

“You know we don’t even have a public information officer for the commissioners,” he said. “There are a lot of things that this would allow us to do. We could use these specialized positions to target specialized fields.”

No action was taken on the agenda item. Hader said he will be looking further into the idea over the coming weeks.

Mustang Police Lt. Kirk Dickerson honored by county

Police Officer Dickerson

Mustang News staff reports,

Members of the Canadian County Multi-Agency Special Operations Team gathered Jan. 14 for a special recognition luncheon. The special event, hosted by the Yukon Police Department and attended by the agency heads of the four county law enforcement agencies that make up the Special Operations Team, was to recognize Lt. Kirk Dickerson of the Mustang Police Department.

Dickerson, who for the past 12 years has served as the unit commander, will be leaving the specialized unit due to increased responsibilities with his primary assignment at the Mustang Police Department. Dickerson, who first joined the Special Operations Team in April of 1999, served in various capacities including team member (rifleman) and team leader before being named to the team commander position in 2002.

Dickerson, who has been with the Mustang Police Department since August 1995, is leaving the Special Operations Team in order to pursue other career opportunities at the police department, and acknowledged leaving the team wasn’t an easy decision to make.

“This is a bittersweet moment for me. I’ve spent the majority of my time with Mustang Police Department as a member and commander of the county’s Special Operations Team, and now I’m stepping down in hopes of attaining other career goals and opportunities at the police department,” said Dickerson.

Dickerson said that he considered leading the team comprised of sheriff’s deputies and police officers from Yukon, Mustang and El Reno police departments to have been a dream come true, and stated that it had been a tremendous honor to serve both on the team and with the professionals who make up the team.

During the event, Dickerson was presented with a plaque from the agency heads recognizing his contributions to the team. Additionally, the Special Operations Team members presented Dickerson with a .45 caliber Glock semi-automatic pistol in appreciation of his years of service.

 

“None of the team’s successes would have been possible if it hadn’t been for the dedication and commitment of the team members or the support from the agency heads involved. It’s been an honor to serve all the communities of Canadian County as the team commander,” said Dickerson

Agency heads in attendance were Canadian County Sheriff Randall Edwards, and Police Chiefs John Corn, Chuck Foley and Kendall Brown of Yukon, Mustang and El Reno police departments, respectively.

“I can’t begin to express how much I appreciate the leadership and professionalism Lt. Dickerson has provided the county’s Tactical Team during his tenure as commander,” said Edwards.