The Sand Springs Police Department had a busy night at the City Council meeting Monday evening. Two new officers were sworn in, two new policies were enacted, and an update was given on the new Public Safety Facility.
Officers Christopher Perez and Kellsie Davis received the Oath of Office from Municipal Judge Tom Askew.
A new Public Safety facility is in the works in Sand Springs and is slated for winter construction at the new Sheffield Crossing development near the intersection of Morrow Road and Highway 97. The Council unanimously approved the naming of the facility as the Billie A. Hall Public Safety Facility.
Council authorized the SSPD to enter into an intergovernmental cross-deputization agreement with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. The cooperative agreement will allow officers from both organizations to work together to avoid jurisdictional complications. The agreement allows officers to provide law enforcement services across jurisdictional boundaries, including arrests, pursuits, investigations, and other emergency situations regardless of whether such occurrences violate the criminal statutes of the other government.
The City Council also authorized a memorandum of understanding between the SSPD and the Tulsa County Board of County Commissioners for third-party reporting. Under the agreement, the SSPD will handle all calls from Tulsa County Sheriff's Office inmates reporting rape, sexual misconduct, abuse, assault, and harassment. The SSPD will not be involved in the investigation of these allegations but will maintain a log of the reports and pass the information along to the investigating agency. The third-party reporting will allow the TCSO to comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act, ensuring that all reports are properly filed.
The SSPD is hoping to get some new equipment after the City Council authorized them to apply for an up-armored HMMWV through the 1033 federal government program. The $2,500 vehicle will not be equipped with any offensive weapons, and will be used for rescue missions and in armed-standoff situations.
"This is going to be a rescue vehicle," said Police Chief Mike Carter. "This is not for us to take over our part of Oklahoma," he joked. The vehicle will offer protection for officers during events such as the 2012 two-hour standoff with an armed man barricaded inside an abandoned building in the former Gerdau steel plant. That situation resolved peacefully, but Carter reminisced that officers were concerned with how to protect themselves without armored vehicles. "We're the police, we're supposed to win the fights."
The HMMWV will not only be bulletproof, but its weight and height will make it safe in many flooding situations. Carter said the vehicle will likely be painted black and white like standard squad cars, and will say "RESCUE" on the side. He estimates the vehicle could be needed as frequently as four or five times a year.
The department was also granted a five-year contract extension with Axon Enterprises that includes increased video storage capacity, new camera replacements, and additional docking stations. The contract will cost $87,168.96 over the five-year period.