Sand Springs Police Department receives international award for policing plan

The Sand Springs Police Department is pleased to announce that their partnership with the citizens of the Sand Springs in community policing efforts have resulted in an award to the agency. The Sand Springs Police Department received the 2018 IACP/Cisco Leadership in Community Policing Award. Chief Mike Carter accepted the award on behalf of agency and the Citizens of Sand Springs at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Convention on October 9, 2018 in Orlando, Florida. The award was open to departments around the world for communities 20,000 to 50,000 in population.

The IACP and Cisco presented the award to the Sand Springs Chief for their “Policing Plan” which has been produced by the Sand Springs Police Department in cooperation with the citizens of Sand Springs. The 2018 plan is the third edition of the plan, which started after the department reviewed the Department of Justice Report on Ferguson, Missouri in 2015.

Chief Carter stated, “We read the DOJ report on Ferguson after our City Attorney David Weatherford suggested that we may want to look at missteps that had taken place in there, and what we could do to assure our public that we were policing in a positive manner”. He added, “We took a look at not only what we could do to promote procedural justice, officer accountability, transparency, training etc, but also at our past practices and decided to produce an annual plan”. The Department has modified and refined the Plan each year by including input from its citizens. Upon presentation by the Department, the City Council holds a public hearing and adopts the current plan by resolution.

Chief Carter spoke about the future of the program, he stated, “The police work we do is constantly changing, and police departments will need to change as the public’s perception of us and the reality of what we face changes. Preparing the plan helped us map a plan for the future, but also captured many of the great things our department has been doing for years to serve the public. It also reflects what our officers have historically done to bring people together and show that we are a police department for all people”. He added, “This award is not just to the police department, but to the Sand Springs community as a whole; it is their faith in us and the relationship that we have with them that made this possible”. Mayor Mike Burdge stated, “We are happy to see the recognition for our police department and the citizens of Sand Springs. With so many great police departments across the globe, it is an honor for our community to receive such an honor.”

Anyone who is interested in reading the plan or the versions of previous years may do so by going to http://www.sandspringsok.org/491/SSPD-Policing-Plan

City Council approves SSPD Resource Officer for Sand Springs Public Schools

The Sand Springs City Council approved a $34,211.00 expenditure to provide a School Resource Officer for the Sand Springs Public School District at Monday night's regular monthly meeting.

Sand Springs Police Chief Mike Carter said the proposal was partly a response to school shootings across the country and partly an opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of students. In addition to providing security, the SRO will also oversee the department's truancy program.

"We're one of the few communities that has a truancy program," says Carter. "It's not about just writing citations, it's about finding out if there's other family dynamics that are causing that student to miss school. Besides the lost education opportunity, we may find other problems that are happening with that student in that family."

The department has a history of providing school resource officers, and at one point had as many as three. Eventually economic downturn left the department with dwindling resources and the position was eliminated about five years ago.

In other news:

Council approved a dilapidation public nuisance resolution ordering the demolition of 400 North Cleveland Avenue on or after September 5th if the property owner does not begin repairs.

Council renewed a ten-year tax incentive agreement between the City of Sand Springs and Reasor's LLC. The City recruited the grocery store chain to Sand Springs in 2011 through a $2 million incentive, creating more than sixty jobs at the long-vacant Wal Mart facility in Prattville.

Council accepted a $65,045 bid from Tim Mills Fence Company for 6,400 feet of white vinyl fence. The company will have until October 1 to complete the installation along the city's highway corridors. 

Council approved the purchase of a Toro Reelmaster mower for the City sports fields. The $55,027.93 mower will be funded initially by the City but will be reimbursed over a three-year period by the Baseball, Soccer, and Softball organizations who lease the parks. 

Council approved a $188,702.47 contract with L&M Office Furniture to furnish the new Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center. 

Council approved a $113,387.00 contract with Southwest Solutions to purchase storage lockers, explosive cabinets, high density shelving, gun lockers, armory storage cabinets, etc. for the new Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center.

Following the Council meeting, the Sand Springs Municipal Authority approved $99,547.24 to purchase two new Toro Greenaster 3150-Q lawn mowers and a Toro Workman utility vehicle for the Canyons at Blackjack Ridge golf course. 

Harper's Hut loses thousands to burglary at Sand Springs stand

Harper's Hut Shaved Ice & Java was the victim of a brutal break-in Sunday night at their 1124 East Charles Page Boulevard location.

The perpetrator appears to have attempted jimmying open a window before giving up and kicking in the door.

CEO William Nozak estimates losses of more than $2,500 due to theft and damages. The culprit made off with more than $800 cash and an iPad, trashed the interior, and caused extensive damage to the doorjamb and window. The stand will remain closed on Monday for repairs.

The oldest of Harper's five locations, the Charles Page Boulevard stand is at the entrance to the Harris Center development.

Master Lube & Car Wash, also in the Harris Center, recently shut down their car wash services due to theft. The car wash reportedly had coin boxes and the change machine broken into repeatedly, and brushes and sprayers were stolen multiple times. 

Last season the Harper's location inside of Case Community Park was burglarized and thieves made off with candy, soda, coin change, and a portable speaker system. The new Berryhill location suffered about $400 in vandalism damages just a week after opening last month. 

Nozak says repeated theft in the Harris Center is making the area feel unsafe, but this case in particular appears personal.

Both the cash register and safe appear to have been opened with a keycode and were not forced. Nozak suspects it could have been an ex employee or friend of an employee. 

A police report has been filed and the department has assigned a detective to the case. Anyone with information can contact the department online at this link or may call 918-245-8777. 

Harper's Hut Berryhill snow cone stand vandalized, closed for repairs

Just a week after opening for business, the Harper's Hut Shaved Ice stand in Berryhill was the victim of overnight vandalism. 

CEO William Nozak says that Berryhill branch owner Jeff Lyles arrived Saturday morning to find both windows smashed out with rocks. The stand plans to remain closed until repairs can be made. "Stuff like this happens, but it's tough to swallow, especially for a new business owner."

Lyles, also a Sand Springs Public Schools Assistant Band Director, says that the incident will cost around $400 for new windows and installation. A police report has been filed and authorities are investigating security footage from nearby Berryhill Public Schools and New Home Free Will Baptist Church.

The Hut is located at 3110 South 65th West Avenue in the unincorporated Tulsa community of Berryhill, immediately across the street from Berryhill Elementary South, and less than a quarter mile from Berryhill Elementary North and Berryhill High School. 

Harper's Hut Shaved Ice and Java opened its first stand in Sand Springs in 2014 and has since expanded to five locations in Sand Springs, Sapulpa, and Tulsa. 

 

 

Harper's Hut Shaved Ice receives counterfeit twenty dollar bill

Can you spot the fake?

Harper's Hut Shaved Ice and Java recently received their first counterfeit twenty dollar bill of the 2018 summer season.

Getting ripped off is a tradition for the Sand Springs snow cone stand. Since opening in 2014, the seasonal hangout starts every year with a hard lesson on how to spot fake twenty dollar bills. CEO William Nozak likes to take the opportunity to teach other small business owners. 

While counterfeit detector pens cost only a few dollars, sometimes they run out of ink or simply get misplaced. Here's a few simple indicators to check the authenticity of a bill.

Modern twenties have two watermarks. On the left side of the bill is a security thread repeating "USA Twenty" from bottom to top. On the right side of the bill is a silhouette of President Andrew Jackson's face. Both can best be seen when held up to a light. 

All bills $5 and larger have a facial silhouettes and security threads. On fives and tens the bands are on the right hand side, the fifty is near the middle, and the hundred is on the left.

In the summer of 2017 Harper's unveiled a new snow cone flavor named the "Fake $20." Harper's Hut has two Sand Springs locations. The original hut is at 1124 East Charles Page Boulevard and a limited menu is available at the Case Community Park concessions stand. 

Governor Mary Fallin Signs Bill Barring Sex Offenders from Living Near Their Victims

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today signed a bill that helps protect victims from their sex offenders.

Fallin signed House Bill (HB) 1124, which prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet and loitering within 1,000 feet from their victims’ homes.  Under current Oklahoma law, sex offenders are banned from living near places like schools and playgrounds, but it does not apply to a sex offender living near his or her adult victim.

The measure passed unanimously in both chambers: 92-0 in the House of Representatives and 44-0 in the Senate.

HB 1124, named the “Justice for Danyelle Act of 2018,”  takes effect Nov. 1. It is named after Danyelle Dyer, of Bristow, whose attacker moved next door to her last year.

Rep. Kyle Hilbert and Sen. James Leewright filed the legislation. In the meantime, Dyer and her family went to court and obtained a protective order, and the offender was ordered to move.

“Victims shouldn’t have to worry about their sex offenders moving in next door,” said Fallin. “I appreciate Representative Hilbert and Senator Leewright for responding quickly to this situation and coming up with a logical solution to this issue. If we have laws keeping sex offenders from parks and day care centers, it’s common sense that they shouldn’t be allowed near their victims.”

"I am incredibly proud of the courage Danyelle Dyer showed to bring this issue to light,” said Hilbert. “Thanks to her advocacy, no victims in Oklahoma will ever endure what her and her family went through ever again. Thank you Governor Fallin for signing HB 1124 and standing up for the rights of victims across the state.”

“Through her bravery to come forward, Danyelle helped bring this dangerous loophole to our attention as well as other states that also haven’t addressed this needed zone of safety,” said Leewright. “Her advocacy will help protect others from continuing to be victimized emotionally on a daily basis knowing their attacker is so close.”

Governor Mary Fallin Signs Human Trafficking Bill

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill targeted at preventing human trafficking Wednesday.

House Bill (HB) 2651 permits Oklahoma’s public safety commissioner to choose training material from Truckers Against Human Trafficking for education purposes for drivers applying for Class A, B or C commercial licenses. The material includes training on recognizing, preventing and reporting human trafficking. The public safety commissioner is required to regularly review and update the training to ensure it is up to date on changes and trends in human trafficking. 

HB 2651, authored by Rep. Steve Vaughan, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, and Senate Majority Whip Frank Simpson, passed unanimously in both the House of Representatives and Senate. It takes effect Nov. 1.

“This is an effective and efficient way to make our commercial drivers more aware about signs of human trafficking and how to report,” said Fallin. “By understanding the signs and symptoms of trafficking, they can help our law enforcement stop human trafficking on our highways and in our community. Our state’s location as a crossroads positions the Oklahoma City metropolitan area as a hotbed for human trafficking activity. The intersections of major interstate highways like I-35, I-40 and I-44 mean human traffickers move sex slaves and others involved in forced labor through Oklahoma City.”

“Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in our country and Oklahoma is a prime target,” Simpson said. “Truck stops are the perfect place for traffickers to move their goods and as transfer points for transporting their victims. If trained in what to look and listen for as well as what to do, truckers can be instrumental in recognizing and stopping these crimes.”

“Oftentimes we overlook the importance of how many trucks travel our roads and highways every day,” Vaughan said. “Because of this bill, inside every cab of those trucks is a trucker who has become more aware of human trafficking. It is great to have eyes in the cab and boots on the ground to help eliminate this problem. I was pleased to be asked to author this bill on the House side for the people of the great state of Oklahoma.”

Sandlot Sno-Balls employee has phone and tip jar stolen

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An employee at the Sandlot Sno-Balls shaved ice stand at 250 South Highway 97 was the victim of theft Saturday afternoon, according to company owner Brad Crain.

The perpetrator reportedly visited the stand earlier that day and ordered a snow cone, then returned later in the day for another. After ordering and paying, he swiped the stand's tip jar and an employee's iPhone while she had her back turned. 

Anyone with information regarding the incident can reach the Sand Springs Police Department non-emergency line at 918-245-8777.

Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce holds forum on criminal justice reform

The Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce held an open forum on criminal justice reform Monday afternoon at the Tulsa Tech Sand Springs campus. Sand Springs Police Chief Mike Carter, Tulsa County Public Defenders Office first assistant Stuart Sutherland, and District Judge Doug Drummond all spoke at the event.

According to Carter, the Tulsa County Court System has been working together with local police departments to implement electronic filing, saving the departments time and resources.

Carter discussed local law enforcement efforts to distance themselves from partisan thinking, comparing reform to a swinging pendulum that needs to test different policies and find balance.

Sutherland spoke about the high incarceration rate in the county and the potential for low income defendants to be adversely affected by the current system, speculating that some innocent defendants who are financially unable to bond out are more likely to enter guilty pleas in order to either get out of jail, or to avoid a greater sentence if they are unable to defeat their charges.

Drummond addressed the difficulty of balancing the need to reform offenders with the need to provide justice for victims. "I think (legislators) are afraid that people are going to think they're soft on crime. It does take some courage to make this move (toward reform)." Another concern of Drummond’s was a lack of data in Oklahoma to guide reform and let policy makers know what works.

Governor Mary Fallin Says Measures in Place to Help Provide Safe Environment for Oklahoma Students

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today assured Oklahomans that measures are in place intended to keep Oklahoma students safe.

The Oklahoma School Security Institute, created under legislation signed into law in 2013 by Fallin, operates under the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security. The institute continues to offer schools training in numerous areas, and provides other services, such as security assessments at school campuses.

“The state of Oklahoma has a duty to do everything we can to keep our children safe. Every parent should have their child come home safely,” said Fallin. “The Oklahoma School Security Institute ensures that schools are well prepared for emergencies of all kinds. It also helps to provide more training and better coordination between law enforcement and education professionals.”

Kim Edd Carter, director of the Office of Homeland Security, said the institute’s staff of three also works with the State Department of Education to provide training it proposes schools obtain. More information may be found here.

 The Office of Homeland Security partners with Oklahoma’s fusion center to provide a free statewide tip line for school security reporting. Information reported to the tip line is forwarded to the appropriate school administrators and local law enforcement authorities.

Persons may email concerns to the tip line program, Tipline.OK.gov. It is available for anyone to report suspicious activity or a possible threat to any Oklahoma school. Reports may be made anonymously. Or persons may call (855) 337-8300.

“When parents send their children off to school, they expect their children to be safe,” Carter said. “The Oklahoma School Security Institute staff works with school officials to provide a secure environment for our students.”

The homeland security office also offers active-shooter training to law enforcement officers, he said. About 7,000 of the state’s law officers have undergone such training.

Carter said the Office of Homeland Security is launching a single-officer response course on active-shooter response.

Another major training course offered by the homeland security office is the law enforcement first-responder course, which trains officers how to use tourniquets, chest seals, and wound packing materials that are needed after a shooting.  When the officer graduates from this eight-hour course, he is given a small kit that contains the tools he had been trained to use. Those kits are purchased by the Office of Homeland Security with federal and state funds, Carter said.

A law passed in 2015 gives local public school boards the authority to allow school personnel with a concealed-carry license to attend an armed security-guard training program and be armed on campus.

State law allows private schools to make similar decisions. If a private school has a policy allowing the carrying of weapons, a person with a concealed-carry license may carry a weapon on private school property.

Certified law enforcement personnel, such as school resource officers, may carry firearms in public schools.

The Oklahoma School Security Institute and Rose State College are hosting a panel discussion on school safety at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Rose State College Community Learning Center in Midwest City.

School safety was discussed by Fallin and other governors attending the National Governors Association conference last weekend in Washington, D.C., during a meeting with President Donald J. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

CPHS grad Scott L. Palk named U.S. District Judge for Western Oklahoma

Charles Page High School graduate Scott Lawrence Palk was recently confirmed by the United States Senate to the position of U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma in a bipartisan 79-16 vote with five abstaining. 

Both Oklahoma senators, James Lankford and Jim Inhofe, voted Yea. Of the 16 Nay votes, fifteen were Democratic Party members and one was independent. 26 Democrats, one Independent, and 52 Republicans voted in affirmation. 

“Scott is a great candidate to serve as a federal judge for the US District Court for Oklahoma because of his dedication to uphold the rule of law,” said Lankford. “Scott’s years of work in Oklahoma make him exceptionally qualified to serve as one of Oklahoma's federal judges, and I applaud President Trump for nominating a strong candidate that will represent our state and nation well.”  

Palk was nominated in May by President Donald Trump on advisement from Senator Lankford. He was previously employed as Assistant Dean of Students and Assistant General Counsel at the University of Oklahoma College of Law in Norman since 2011. He acquired his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University in 1989 and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1992. 

Palk worked in maintenance and landscaping for the Sand Springs Public School District during the summers of 1989 through 1991 before becoming a law student clerk at Terrel B. DoRemus & Associates in Tulsa. He began an internship at the District Attorney's Office for Cleveland, Garvin, and McClain Counties in 1991, spent four years as the Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force Coordinator, ten years as an Assistant District Attorney, and five years as the First Assistant District Attorney.

In 2002 he moved to the the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Oklahoma where he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division before moving to the University of Oklahoma in 2011. 

In 1993 Palk was named the Oklahoma Narcotics Enforcers' Prosecutor of the Year. He was the Oklahoma Gang Investigators Association Prosecutor of the Year in 2004. He received the Director's Award for Superior Performance from the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys in 2004. He has also received certificates of appreciation for Assistance to the Joint Terrorism Task Force and Outstanding Contributions in the field of Drug Law Enforcement.

Palk is a current member of the National Rifle Association and the University of Oklahoma College of Law Second Century Annual Giving Society. He was previously nominated for his new position by President Barrack Obama, but his nomination expired with the end of the 114th Congress.

Sand Springs Police receive new officers, equipment; partner with Creek Nation

 Municipal Judge Tom Askew gives the Oath of Office to Christopher Perez and Kellsie Davis. (Photo: Scott Emigh).

Municipal Judge Tom Askew gives the Oath of Office to Christopher Perez and Kellsie Davis. (Photo: Scott Emigh).

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.

 Sand Springs Police Chief Mike Carter (left) and Muscogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse Police Chief Robert Hawkins (right) announce a cross-deputization agreement between their departments. (Photo: Scott Emigh).

Sand Springs Police Chief Mike Carter (left) and Muscogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse Police Chief Robert Hawkins (right) announce a cross-deputization agreement between their departments. (Photo: Scott Emigh).

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. 

Murder at Case Community Center! 11th Annual Sertoma Murder Mystery Dinner

 Left to right: Brian Patten, Jenny Burke, Justin Tockey, Cliff Salas.

Left to right: Brian Patten, Jenny Burke, Justin Tockey, Cliff Salas.

More than 200 Sand Springs residents came together Saturday evening at the Case Community Center to eat dinner, bid on silent auction items, and help solve a murder. The murder was fictitious, the food was delicious, and the event raised thousands of dollars for the Sand Springs Sertoma Club and Quota International Club.

Sertoma stands for "Service To Mankind" and is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals with hearing disabilities. The club sponsors community events such as the annual July 3rd fireworks show at Case Community Park (formerly River City Park). Quota International is a women's organization helping those with hearing and speech impairments. 

At the Eleventh Annual Murder Mystery Dinner, attendees were fed by Klein's Catering Service out of Perry, Oklahoma. Nearly a hundred items were donated to the auction, ranging from cookbooks to alcohol, candy baskets, jewelry, and more. The theme was "I Loathe A Parade" and participants competed in an American-themed costume contest.

The participants worked together with their table to solve the murder of Joe Possumz, mayor of the fictitious city of Elmtown. Possumz was a polarizing politician who died under mysterious circumstances during the town's Independence Day Parade.

Each table was given a newspaper article and each participant was given a clue. The suspects made their way around the room taking questions at each table over the course of the evening. At the conclusion of the interrogations, each table filled out a paper with their suspect, method, and motive.

Suspects included Rhonda Ripley (Jenny Burke), owner of Horsebalm Stables, who stood to lose half of her ranch to imminent domain if the Mayor's proposed new four-lane road was approved. 

Rockwell Kenmore (Justin Tockey), AKA Rocky the Clown, planned to run against the mayor in the upcoming election. Rocky leveled allegations of corruption against Possumz, and was excited that the City would be able to move forward under new leadership. He blasted the mayor in the face with a super soaker not long before his death.

Mona Minski (Patty Dixon) is an ex-girlfriend of the mayor's and is head of the Elmtown Marching Mommas. She admitted to spraying the mayor with itching powder that was concealed in one of her pompoms. 

Albert Ames (Cliff Salas), owner of Ames Chimney Sweeping and Fireplace Service, was regularly coated in chimney soot containing toxic materials. He was good friends with Vern Fullerton, who also handled his dry cleaning. 

Dottie Pinewood (Debbie Nobles), the mayor's assistant, was the daughter of a former mayor and may have been offended by Possumz's claims that he was the best mayor in town history. She gave Possumz a hot dog shortly before his death, and endorsed Kenmore during questioning. She claimed that Possumz was underhanded and hoped that Kenmore would win. 

Vern Fullerton (Brian Patten), part time weatherman for a local tv station, was Grand Marshall in the parade, and predicted that the mayor would "get the soaking of a lifetime" during the forecast the day before. He accused the mayor of bullying him in high school and had a fondness for Ripley.

The story and scripts were written by Jack Pachuta of www.mysterypartyhost.com

Also starring in the production were Ryan and Sue Price as Detectives Blew and Spangle, respectively. 

Patty Dixon as Mona Minski.

 Debbie Nobles as Dottie Pinewood.

Debbie Nobles as Dottie Pinewood.

Harper's Hut River City Concession Stand suffers break-in

Local entrepreneur William Nozak is asking for help in identifying person(s) of interest in a break-in at a City facility.

Nozak, who owns Harper's Hut Shaved Ice & Java, says that the concession stand in River City Park was broken into sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning. 

The concession stand is operated by the Sand Springs Soccer Club, a nonprofit organization, as a fundraiser. The stand sells Harper's Hut Shaved Ice in addition to traditional concessions, and supplies free toys for kids to play with at the Rotary Super Splash Pad. 

In addition to stealing candy, soda, and coin change, the thief(s) also made off with a portable speaker system owned by Harper's Hut. The brand new orange amplifier is branded with the Harper's Hut logo and is worth $158.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact Harper's Hut.

Sandite of the Week: Police Chief Mike Carter works to build police-community relations

Sand Springs Police Chief Mike Carter was selected as our Sandite of the Week for his eagerness to involve the police department in the community and his efforts to build a highly-trained and effective police force.

Click here to view previous Sandites of the Week.

Last week, local business owner Joni Sporleder posted in a Sand Springs Facebook group with an idea to have an Independence Day parade downtown. Because it was too late to secure the necessary permits to block off a City street, Chief Carter organized a parade around the Clyde Boyd Walking Trail. SSPD officers manned their bikes and led more than a hundred citizens around the trail on everything from bikes and wagons to horses. After the parade, the department handed out free popsicles and awarded new skateboards to children with the most decorative bicycles and outfits. 

Also last week, Carter presented the new 2017 Policing Plan to City Council, who in turn voted unanimously to approve the document. The 24-page plan identifies policies designed to build trust, engage the community, reduce crime, increase officer training and education and to promote safety.

SEE RELATED: City of Sand Springs adopts new 2017 Policing Plan

Under Carter's leadership the department has made moves to increase the number of warnings and reduce the number of fines issued during traffic stops. Officers have been issued business cards with their name and badge number. A department Facebook page has been created to directly engage with the community, creating dialogue, and informing citizens about ongoing crime problems, trends, and investigations. 

Officers are all trained in Fair and Impartial Policing, which centers on the belief that all people have some implicit bias. The SSPD became the first department in the State to formalize an agreement with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to allow the OSBI to conduct any and all investigations into officer-involved shootings resulting in injury or death, as well as in-custody deaths.

 The department recently launched the "Pop With a Cop" program where officers and City officials hold monthly meetings in each of the City's Wards to meet with citizens and discuss police policy and city issues.

Last year the department held its first-ever "Food for Fines" program, allowing citizens to pay off up to $200 in fines with non-perishable food donations to Sand Springs Community Services.

Carter was promoted to Chief of Police in May of 2015 following an eleven-year stent as Deputy Chief. His promotion came on the heels of former twenty-year Chief Daniel Bradley's hiring as Assistant City Manager.

Prior to his appointment as Deputy Chief, Carter worked in Crisis Negotiation on the Sand Springs SWAT team. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Northeastern State University, graduated from the FBI National Academy, and completed the Police Executive Development and Leadership Curriculum at the University of Tulsa. 

Carter has been with the department since 1993 and is a recipient of the Medal of Valor, two Life Saving Awards, the American Red Cross Everyday Hero award, the City of Sand Springs Employee of the Year award, the Sand Springs Police Department Officer of the Year award, and the Sand Springs Rotary Club Police Officer of the Year award. 

City of Sand Springs accepts $2 million donation, sets date for upcoming bond election

 Nine-time State Champion Cheyenne Walden receives the "Heart of the City" award at Monday night's City Council Meeting.

Nine-time State Champion Cheyenne Walden receives the "Heart of the City" award at Monday night's City Council Meeting.

The Sand Springs City Council held a regular meeting Monday night at the City Municipal Building. 

Mayor Mike Burdge presented recent Charles Page High School graduate Cheyenne Walden with a Mayoral Proclamation and the first-ever Heart of the City award for her accomplishments in competitive running. She is the most decorated athlete in school history and will run for Oklahoma State University in the fall.

SEE RELATED: Cheyenne Walden receives "Heart of the City" award from Mayor Mike Burdge

The City formally accepted a $2 million check from Mike and Pat Case. The Cases pledged the donation last year to help with the River City Park renovation. The park will be renamed Case Community Park at its grand re-opening this fall.

Click HERE to view recent photos of the park construction.

Human Resources Director Amy Fairchild gave a brief educational presentation regarding her department. According to Fairchild, the City has 199 full-time, thirteen part-time, five seasonal and one contractual employee. There are currently seven vacant positions, including three in the police department.

Click HERE to view open positions in the City of Sand Springs.

The Council unanimously approved the use of $99,474.00 to purchase four police pursuit units. The department will purchase two Ford Police Interceptor SUVs and two Dodge Chargers.

Council unanimously voted to approve the Parks Advisory Board's recommendation to terminate the Use Agreement with the Sand Springs Round Up Club. They also declared the rodeo grounds as surplus, allowing them to auction off valuables and demolish what's left.

SEE RELATED: Sand Springs Round Up Club petition hopes to reverse eviction from City park

Council unanimously approved a Deed of Dedication by the Sand Springs Home, officially dedicating South Lincoln Avenue as a public road. The City has been maintaining the road for a number of years under the assumption that it was a public road.

Council approved a new one-year contract with the Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority (MTTA) in the amount of $49,368. 

Council unanimously approved a resolution calling for a complete update to the City Comprehensive Plan. The plan has not been updated since 2002.

SEE RELATED: City of Sand Springs approves new comprehensive plan for next fifteen years

Council unanimously approved the renaming of two park sites. The City Garden Park will be renamed the Inez Kirk Garden Park in honor of former City Manager Inez Kirk. The Inez Kirk Soccer Complex will also be renamed. City Officials are waiting to announce the new name pending the notification of the namesake's family.

Council unanimous approved a resolution adopting the 2017 Sand Springs Police Department Policing Plan.

SEE RELATED: City of Sand Springs adopts new 2017 Policing Plan

Council unanimously approved a resolution creating a new fireworks discharge permit classification. Previously the City only allowed the use of Class 1.3G (large professional) fireworks by organizations, and the use of Class of 1.4G (small consumer) fireworks by private individuals at a residential address. The new permit allows for organizations to hold public fireworks shows with 1.4G fireworks. The Class 1.4G individual use permit is $20, the Class 1.4G entity use permit is $40, and the Class 1.3G use permit is $100.

Council approved November 14, 2017 as the date for the 2017 General Obligation Bond election. The State of Oklahoma is already holding a Special Election that date to fill legislative vacancies.

SEE RELATED: City Council prepares for upcoming bond election, discusses new roads and economic incentives

The Sand Springs Municipal Authority met immediately following the Council meeting and approved the use of $58,770 to purchase a Ford F550 pickup for use in the Water Maintenance & Operations department.

Several citizens were appointed to various advisory boards. All positions are three-year terms with the exception of the Sand Springs/Sapulpa Joint Board, which is a one-year term.

  • Nancy Riley was reappointed to the Board of Adjustment by unanimous vote.
  • Troy Cox was reappointed to the Development Authority by unanimous vote.
  • Joe Shelton was reappointed to the Planning Commission by unanimous vote.
  • Jason Mikles was reappointed to the Planning Commission by unanimous vote.
  • Mary Eubanks was appointed to the Economic Development Authority by unanimous vote.
  • Ronald G. Cloud was appointed to the Parks Advisory Board by unanimous vote.
  • Elizabeth Gray was appointed as an alternate to the Sand Springs/Sapulpa Joint Board by unanimous vote.
  • Dr. William Tom Campbell, Jr. was reappointed to the Airport Advisory Board by unanimous vote.
  • Robert J. Flennor was reappointed to the Airport Advisory Board by unanimous vote.
  • Dr. Mark Manahan was reappointed to the Airport Advisory Board by unanimous vote.

City of Sand Springs adopts new 2017 Policing Plan

 Sand Springs Police Chief Mike Carter speaks at a City Council Meeting.

Sand Springs Police Chief Mike Carter speaks at a City Council Meeting.

The Sand Springs City Council recently approved the 2017 Sand Springs Policing Plan. The department created their first policing plan in 2016 following national discourse on race, bias, and social injustice. The plan identifies six pillars that will help the department to better serve the public while effectively enforcing the law and promoting social justice.

Pillar 1: Building Trust and Legitimacy

In 2015-2016 the Sand Springs Police Department greatly increased the amount of warnings given during traffic stops to help combat accusations of "revenue  collection." According to Police Chief Mike Carter, nearly half of all traffic stops result in warnings instead of fines.

"There will always be traffic citations because that's what we're out there to do; enforce traffic laws," said Carter. 

SSPD officers will participate in and achieve the certification levels offered by CLEET.

The department will take steps to ensure that citizens may file a complaint for investigation. 

All SSPD officers have been issued business cards which identify them by name and badge number. The cards are given out on routine contacts as well as to anyone who wishes to file a compliment or complaint. 

The department aims to keep a more formal appearance to encourage approachability. Officers are allowed to utilize external body armor, but weapons are not allowed on the front of the vest. 

The department prides itself on its transparency. A seventeen-year span with zero shooting incidents came to an end in 2015, and video footage of the two incidents that year were released to media within three days. They have a policy of not charging fees for electronic document requests.

New officers are under immediate probation for a twelve-month period.

The department has had only one grievance filed since 1993.

The department is proactively working with local businesses to combat drug manufacturing and aggressive panhandling. 

The department employs a Spanish-fluent officer on the Hispanic Affairs Commission.

Regarding immigration enforcement, Carter says that "we're not a sanctuary city, but we are here to serve all people, even undocumented, if they are the victim of a crime." When responding to a report of a crime, SSPD officers will not inquire as to the immigration status of the victim. 

Pillar 2: Policy and Oversight

The department has two instructors who attended the Fair and Impartial Policing - Train the Trainer program that was sponsored by the COPS office of the Department of Justice. These officers in turn train all SSPD officers in anti-bias policing. The training centers on the belief that all people have some implicit bias.

The department has adopted a policy of consulting with non-police community members for input regarding complaint review. These representatives receive Use of Force training before participating.

The SSPD became the first department in the State of Oklahoma to formalize an agreement with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to conduct investigations into any officer-involved shooting resulting in injury or death, and in-custody deaths.

Pillar 3: Technology and Social Media

The SSPD has been using body cameras since approximately 2008. They were deployed department-wide in 2014.

The SSPD launched a Facebook page in March of 2016. The page has just under 4,000 "likes" at press time. The department uses the page to educate the public about ongoing crime problems, crime trends, and investigations in which the public's involvement is helpful. 

All officers carry a non-lethal weapon at all times and all patrol units are equipped with a Stinger tire deflation unit to help end pursuits. The department will also cease pursuing suspects if the situation begins to pose a likely danger to the community. 

The SSPD recently helped the Sand Springs School District obtain and install security cameras and a Lobby Guard system that requires all school visitors to scan a valid Oklahoma ID. That scan immediately identifies sex offenders and violent crime offenders. 

Pillar 4: Community Policing and Crime Reduction 

The SSPD participates in a multi-jurisdictional SWAT team with the cities of Bixby and Sapulpa, called South-West Area Tactical. The SWAT team employs a full complement of crisis negotiators with training in advanced levels of mental health. During the team's history, they have never injured or killed any subject.

The SSPD has a philosophy of community involvement through positive contacts. Officers participate in Neighborhood Watch and HOA meetings to hear first-hand concerns from the community. 

The SSPD recently launched the "Pop With A Cop" program where officers and City officials hold meetings in each of the City's Wards to meet with citizens and talk about the city.

The SSPD has never worked on quotas or taken fine revenue into account as it relates to enforcement efforts. The department claims some of the lowest fines in the metro area and looks to minimize increases. 

The department held its first-ever "Food for Fines" program last year, allowing citizens to pay off up to $200 in fines with non-perishable food donations to Sand Springs Community Services. The event granted temporary amnesty to individuals with outstanding warrants, allowing them to set up payment plans and get back in good standing with the department. The department also allows for community service to reduce or eliminate their fines.

The department also partnered with State Representative Jadine Nollan and State Senator David Rader on House Bill 2159, which sought to keep people out of jail while still holding them accountable. 

The department has instituted a policy of limiting officers in how many citations they may issue during a single traffic stop. Officers are required to attain supervisor approval before issuing more than three citations to one individual.

Individuals held in municipal jail on open charges are released within 72 hours as a matter of policy to prevent the risk of causing individuals to lose employment, as well as family strife, medical issues, etc. 

Pillar 5: Training and Education

Approximately 75% of all Sand Springs patrol officers are currently trained in advanced mental health techniques such as the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model of police response to mental health situations. The department aims to have all officers trained by the end of 2017. 

All SSPD officers attend use of force simulator training instructed by the Oklahoma Municipal Insurance Group. The training covers shoot-don't shoot simulations, verbal interventions, and non-lethal force simulations.

All SSPD officers are trained in Verbal Skills, with focus on de-escalation and officer approachability. All SSPD officers attend annual training on the topic of custody and control techniques. Current policy discourages the use of force on children, elderly persons, pregnant women, and people with disabilities. All officers are required to train and certify twice  year in firearms training. Officers are required to score 84% on a more complicated course than is required by the State of Oklahoma.

The department is training dispatchers and jailers in suicide prevention. The new jail facility is being designed free of potential hanging points with attention to any other ways that a suicidal subject may use the facility while in crisis. 

The department has a goal of achieving National and State Accreditation. 

Pillar 6: Officer Wellness and Safety

The department aims to ensure that officers receive the best training available and equip them with the best tools and resources. Every officer is equipped with body armor and tactical tourniquets. Body armor and seatbelts are required.

Any citizens arrested for resisting arrest or assaulting an officer are remanded to State court instead of municipal court. The department maintains that citizens who view an arrest as unjust must express their concerns through the judicial system, not during the arrest. 

SSPD officers are provided with gym membership and access to the city fitness center. Officers are physically tested by University of Tulsa students in the Exercise and Sports Science Program. The program tests officers for Cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition. 

The SSPD has authorized pay increases amounting to nearly $10,000 that will propel Sand Springs to the third-highest paying community in the Tulsa Metro area. Previously Sand Springs was eighth.

The department is also making changes to their hiring process and standards that have kept some potential applicants from applying. The department requires either 64 hours of college or time served in the U.S. Military. Previously they required four years of service, but that number is now reduced to two years.

The department will also lessen restrictions around visible tattoos due to the culture change and greater acceptance of body art. 

2016 Sand Springs Police Department Statistics

Calls for Service: 21,178
Traffic Citations: 4,077
Written Traffic Warnings: 2,065 - does not include verbal warnings.

The following statistics refer to reports of crimes only, and does not indicate crimes resulting in a conviction.

Homicide: 1
Rape: 4
Robbery: 7
Assaults: 210
Burglary: 88
Larceny: 508
Motor Vehicle Theft: 68

Use of Deadly Force: 0
Tactical Vehicle Intervention: 0
Impact Weapon Use: 0
Less Lethal (non Taser) Use: 0
K-9 Bites: 0
Taser Use: 6
Physical Control: 5
OC Spray Use: 1
Pursuits: 11
Excessive Force reports: 0

The Mission of the Sand Springs Police Department is the protection of constitutional rights, protection of lives, reduction of criminal activity and fostering of community partnerships. This shall be accomplished by each employee being empowered to provide the best service possible. Our relationship with the Citizens of Sand Springs shall be the foundation for this success. Our legacy within this community will be service with honor, treatment of people with dignity and dedication to excellence.

Residents give their opinions on Sand Springs in online survey

In the fall of 2015, the City of Sand Springs launched an online survey for residents of Sand Springs. More than 600 individuals responded, representing more than 3% of the population.

43.9% of residents view the image of Sand Springs as Good. 19.7% of residents have a negative view of the City. 44.5% of residents believe non-residents have a Below Average view of the City. 55.4% of residents believe non-residents have a positive image of Sand Springs.

28.4% of residents rank the quality of life in the city as High, 66.9% ranked it as Moderate, and 4.7% ranked it as Low.

79.8% over residents rank the quality of Public Safety as above average. 1.2% rank it as below average. 82.9% of residents are satisfied with Police services in Sand Springs while 1.8% are dissatisfied. 90.6% of residents feel safe while walking alone in their neighborhood. 71.3% of residents feel safe walking in downtown Sand Springs at night.

85.9% of residents are satisfied with Fire response services. 84.9% of residents are satisfied with the Emergency response service provided by the Fire Department.

49.3% of residents would definitely support a funding mechanism to hire additional police and fire personnel. 44.5% would possibly support it, and 6.1% would not support it. 

85.4% of residents are satisfied with the variety of housing for sale. 63.9% of residents are satisfied with the variety of housing for rent. 81.6% of residents are satisfied with the overall condition of housing.

76.5% of residents have a favorable view of the appearance of downtown. 74.7% of residents are satisfied with the appearance of the business areas outside of downtown. 

89.9% of residents sited Additional Retail/Restaurants as the primary development need in Sand Springs. 75.4% of residents listed Hardware/Home Improvement as the top retail need in Sand Springs. 93.2% of residents desire more Sit-down Establishments. 49.3% of residents visit Tulsa to eat very frequently. 

46.3% of residents would definitely like to see an increase in establishments providing night life opportunities. 71.1% of residents would definitely support the redevelopment of old industrial areas as something else other than industrial.

47.5% of residents definitely support the construction of the Sand Springs Dam, 43.9% would possibly support it, and 8.6% would not support it. 64.3% of residents would definitely support development of the Arkansas River, 30.9% would possibly support it, and 4.8% would not support it.

51% of residents definitely support a system of city-wide trails, 41.2% would possibly support it, and 7.8% are opposed. 

35.9% of residents would like to see additional Residential Development West of town, 31.6% said South of town, 24.4% said North of town, and 8.1% said East of town. 70.3% of residents are in favor of the annexation of additional lands into City Limits. 34.8% of residents support additional multi-family apartment complexes, with 24.9% opposed. 

25.7% of residents are dissatisfied with the Sand Springs Parks and Recreational Opportunities. 36.1% are dissatisfied with the quantity/quality of parks in Prattville. 33.5% are dissatisfied with the quantity/quality of parks on the North side.

73.6% of residents cited a need for the demolition or redevelopment of blighted areas. 35.4% of residents said the Street and Road Conditions were in the greatest need of public improvement. 59.8% of residents believe Sand Springs road conditions are the same as other communities, while 27.6% believe they are better and 12.7% believe they are worse.

If public funding is required to improve the city, 66.1% of residents would support a dedicated sales tax, 33.1% would support a revenue bond, 31.2% would support a property tax, 21.6% would support development fees, and 15.8% would support a surcharge on utilities. 

City of Sand Springs approves new comprehensive plan for next fifteen years

The Sand Springs City Council recently voted to adopt a new "Sand Springs 2030 Land Use Master Plan," updating the city comprehensive plan for the first time since 2002. City employees first began the new plan in fall of 2015 and it was approved by the City Planning Commission in May.

The plan hopes to anticipate future development and provide a flexible tool for evaluating development proposals. 

Chapter I: Community History and Background

The first chapter of the plan is taken from Carl E. Gregory's The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. The chapter recounts the tale of Charles Page's acquisition of wealth and land, his charitable exploits, and his steps to develop the community that would become Sand Springs.

The town began with the relocation of a failing orphanage, the construction of the Sand Springs Home, the founding of the eighty-acre Sand Springs Park, the formation of the Sand Springs Railway, and finally the incorporation of the City in 1912 with approximately 400 citizens. 

Charles Page's generosity included the offering of free land to citizens and a $20,000 relocation bonus for companies. In 1918 he established a "Widow's Colony" alongside the Home. He recruited the relocation of the  Kerr Glass Manufacturing Company, Commander Mills, Southwest Box Company, and Sinclair Prairie Refineries. Less than ten years after its incorporation, the community had grown to more than 4,000 individuals.

In 1965 the City annexed the Prattville community on the south side of the Arkansas River, and in 1969 the City chartered a Council-Manager form of government.

Chapter II: Plan Development

In the fall of 2015, the Planning Department launched a community survey that received more than 600 participants. In the summer of 2016 an interactive map was presented to the community, allowing them to identify what type of development they would like to see in which parts of the community. It received over a hundred suggestions, including a revitalization effort along Charles Page Boulevard and a desire to see the site of the former Gerdau Steel Mill utilized.

Following the community surveys, input was also requested from each of the City departments regarding their needs and desires. Community property owners were contacted regarding their desires for undeveloped properties under their ownership, as well as developmental challenges and difficulties they have encountered. The public school district was consulted regarding future plans for growing the district. 

Chapter III: Social and Demographic Factors

The 2030 projected population by INCOG (Indian Nations Council of Governments) is 23,083 in Sand Springs. At the 2010 Census, Sand Springs had a total population of 18,906 residents, an increase of 8.3% from the 2000 population of 17,451. 

In 2010, the median age of Sand Springs was 36.5 years. The population was 81.8% white, 2.4% African-American, and 8.8% Native American. The average household had 2.63 occupants. The city had a higher employment rate than Tulsa County, Osage County, and the Tulsa Metro. The median household income in 2013 was $54,381, also higher than the Tulsa Metro, Tulsa County, and Osage County.

Chapter IV: Goals and Action Plan Strategies

Land Use

Goal 1: "Sand Springs will be a well-coordinated and planned community with uses that complement and support infrastructure improvements."

Goal 2: "Sand Springs will utilize sound land use planning principals that encourages the appropriate placement of a variety of housing, commercial, recreational, entertainment, and employment options throughout the community."

Goal 3: "The City will maintain land development regulations to manage future growth and development in a manner that protects environmental resources."

Quality of Life

Goal 1: "Sand Springs will be a community that encourages people to be active and healthy and that promotes healthy living and sustainability. This will be accomplished by providing opportunities for active living to all ages year round."

Goal 2: "Sand Springs will have a network of trails, sidewalks and bicycle transportation systems that safely connect parks, schools, libraries, neighborhoods, shopping areas, museums, and other historic sites."

Goal 3: "Sand Springs will be a community that has access to expanded health and wellness care, in addition to attempting to increase the availability of health food choices available to the community."

Goal 4: "The City shall be an aesthetically pleasing community based on a solid foundation of code enforcement and in seeking opportunities to improve zoning and development codes."

Goal 5: "Sand Springs shall have desirable/appealing parks offering recreational opportunities for the community."

Goal 6: "The City will strive to have park equality by providing its citizens throughout the City parks that are well manicured, maintained, and functional for optimal enjoyment."

Goal 7: "Develop Case Community Park into a regional destination by implementing strategically planned park improvements and enhancements, thus creating a public space that is inviting, functional, appealing, and sustainable."

Goal 8: "Continue to develop the Keystone Ancient Forest into a premiere nature preserve/hiking venue in the Tulsa Metropolitan Area."

Goal 9: "Develop City-owned Sports Facilities into premiere venues with top quality playing surfaces, lighting, and amenities."

Infrastructure

Goal 1: "The City of Sand Springs strives to meet or exceed requirements of the EPA and ODEQ regulations at all times in constructing, maintaining, and operating all Water Treatment Pumping, Distribution and Storage Facilities and Systems."

Goal 2: "The City of Sand Springs strives to meet or exceed requirements of the EPA and ODEQ - for providing contemporary and adequate treatment facilities & operations to meet or exceed effluent discharge quality requirements, while making appropriate accommodations for conveyance and collection systems for treatment.

Goal 3: "Plan for new street improvement projects that provide for priority replacements & upgrades to maintain the best possible drivability with sufficient number of lanes, and include provisions for maximum feasible multimodal mobility."

Goal 4: "Plan for rehabilitation/new improvement projects that provide for priority replacements & upgrades to maximize stormwater detention and drainage efficiency and capacity."

Goal 5: "Plan to be a City that takes preventative measures to prevent damaging of the Earth's ecosystems and in order to maintain a high quality of life Sand Springs citizens and the Tulsa Metropolitan Area by managing and disposing of their waste efficiently and safely."

Downtown Area

Goal 1: "Sand Springs shall have a lively, active, and pedestrian oriented downtown with a mix of uses such as restaurants/bars, boutiques, shops, offices, and housing.

Goal 2: "Reinforce and enhance the City's downtown as one of the primary focal points of the community."

Public Safety

Goal 1: "Sand Springs Emergency Services will have excellent law enforcement/firefighter customer service that meets the needs of the citizens now and in the future."

Goal 2: "Sand Springs shall be a community with safe neighborhoods, shopping, and employment areas."

Goal 3: "Sand Springs will proactively maintain/replace public safety technology, equipment, and fleets in order to provide an effective capable workforce."

Goal 4: "Develop, Design, and Construct a Municipal Safety Facility."

Goal 5: "Develop and Maintain a Community Policing Plan."

Economic Development

Goal 1: "The City of Sand Springs will strive to promote local commerce, trade, and commodities by strengthening working relationships with the local/regional Chamber of Commerce, existing businesses, and institutions."

Goal 2: "Aggressively pursue new local, regional, or national restaurant and retail businesses."

Goal 3: "Identify and complete projects that will beautify Sand Springs, assisting with marketing and economic development."

Goal 4: "Evaluate and consider the acquisition of real estate for future development purposes."

Goal 5: "Encourage and engage Subdivision and Multi-Family Developers/Developments."

Goal 6: "Develop an Economic Development website resource hub and strive to educate and advance the objective of all involved with the City to be involved in assisting with economic development as possible."

Goal 7: "Sand Springs will have a strong independent local economy that compliments the surrounding region but is not dependent on it."

Chapter V: Future Development Plan

"The Plan is a policy document that lays out the blueprint of how the community should grow over time and where certain uses should be placed relative to their intensity. Other factors such as underlying zoning patterns, adjoining communities land use plans, and future capital improvements also played a role in determining where the land use categories were placed. However, the plan is a plan and is not inflexible or concrete. From time to time, there will be certain uses that are proposed that will merit additional evaluation and create the possibility for Plan amendments."

Governor Fallin signs legislation streamlining sex offender registration

Legislation improving the state’s sex offender registry law has been signed by the governor.  Senate Bill 217, by Sen. AJ Griffin and Rep. Mike Osburn, modifies Oklahoma’s current sex offender registration law to streamline the notification process between local law enforcement, the courts and the Department of Corrections (DOC) and, in certain cases, will require notification of the Department of Human Services (DHS) as well. It also directs courts assigning sex offender registration levels to follow the guidelines used by the state’s sex offender level assignment committee.

“The purpose of the sex offender registry continues to be public safety—to make sure law enforcement knows where registered sex offenders are living, and making that information available to our citizens,” said Griffin, R-Guthrie. “This legislation streamlines the notification process, ensures greater consistency in assigning levels for registration, and adds an additional requirement for informing DHS when a sex offender returns to a home where his or her minor children, step-children or grandchildren live.”

“When a convicted sex offender reenters society, it is important to maintain checks and oversight. At the end of the day the goal is to protect Oklahoma children and all law abiding citizens,” said Osburn, R-Edmond. “Senator Griffin and I want to thank our fellow members for their support on this measure and to Governor Fallin for signing it into law.”

The DHS notification requirement was a request of the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth. Current law allows registered sex offenders to live with their own children, step-children or grandchildren, but under the provisions of SB 217, when the sex offender returns to that home, DHS will be notified.

“If an incident is brought to that agency’s attention, they will know immediately that a sex offender lives in the home, highlighting the need to accelerate their investigation of the situation,” Griffin said.

The assignment of “levels” to convicted sex offenders determines how long they must register with law enforcement based on their assessed risk of reoffending as established by the state’s sex offender level assignment committee. That committee assigns those levels for offenders who are actually incarcerated. The change in SB 217 ensures that when courts assign a level in the case of probation, suspended or deferred sentences, the criteria for doing so is the same as that of the committee.

SB 217 takes effect November 1, 2017.


This press release was submitted by the Oklahoma State Senate media department. 

Any opinions expressed or implied are those of the author and do not reflect an editorial endorsement by Sandite Pride News. 

Sandite Pride News encourages community submissions regardless of platform or position, to effect a constructive dialogue about any issues affecting our community. 

SB 217 passed the House of Representatives by an 87-4 vote and the Senate by a unanimous 42-0 vote. Representative Jadine Nollan and Senator Dan Newberry, whose districts include Sand Springs, both voted in favor of the measure.

Click here to locate sex offenders in the Tulsa County area.