Owasso Police History
The Owasso Police Department (OPD or OwPD) is the principal law enforcement agency of the City of Owasso, Oklahoma.
History: The Owasso Police Department was officially organized in 1972 after Owasso received official status as a "City" by the State of Oklahoma. However, there is evidence of Law Enforcement in Owasso as early as 1906, prior to Oklahoma Statehood. An Owasso Ordinance dated 1921 provides for definitions of several positions within the Town of Owasso, one of which was Town Marshal. The definition of duties for Town Marshal in Owasso provided for in that Ordinance is listed as "The marshal of such town shall be a peace officer and shall possess the powers and be subject to the liabilities possessed and conferred by law upon sheriff's in executing the orders of Trustees or enforcing the by-laws and ordinances of said town." A 1906 article in the Collinsville News, a newspaper published in Collinsville, OK just a few miles to the North of Owasso, reported that Deputy United States Marshal Williams acting under the jurisdiction of the (Owasso) city marshal helped break up a fight in Owasso. The 1906 article is the earliest known confirmation of Law Enforcement established in Owasso. Prior to the 1906 newspaper article, it is thought all law enforcement duties in Owasso, which was prior to the 1907 Statehood of Oklahoma, were enforced by Deputy United States Marshal's. The last known Owasso Town Marshal was Herbert Calvin Battenfield who served at least until 1958. Battenfield also had one or more "Nightwatchmen" who served at night to thwart overnight crime and watch for fires. Sometime between 1958 and 1962 Owasso took on a second law enforcement official and thereby became a "Police Department". The earliest known reference to a Chief of Police in the then, Town of Owasso, was in the 1962 edition of the Owasso Reporter, a local newspaper published in Owasso. This article references Chief of Police Skip Shannon. It is possible that the Owasso Police Department existed prior to 1962, but this is the earliest known reference. In 2004, the Office of Attorney General of Oklahoma advised their office has no documentation as to the formation or declaration of the existence of the Owasso Police Department. Owasso Ordinance 313 written in 1972, upon Owasso achieving the status of "City" in Oklahoma officially established the current Owasso Police Department and the position of Owasso Chief of Police.
1950's Owasso Town Marshal.
From pictures held by the Owasso Police Department it appears that uniforms, gear, equipment and vehicles were acquired at the means of the serving Town Marshal. Uniforms pictured were sometimes brown, sometimes blue and sometimes no uniform at all were worn. Vehicles appeared to be civilian models and had no markings other than a 'tear drop' light affixed to the driver’s side door window of whatever vehicle was being utilized.
1960's Owasso Police Department.
From pictures and newspaper articles, uniformity of badges, gear, vehicles and uniforms began in the 1960's. A particular badge, a star badge, was worn and passed on from officers to officers and from Chief's to Chief's. Uniform colors mirrored those worn by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol at the time and from the accounts of members of the department at that time uniforms were sometimes acquired from old Oklahoma Highway Patrol uniforms being discarded. Staffing in the 1960's varied but was thought to never to be more than 3 or 4 'officers' at a time.
1970's Owasso Police Department.
The first group photos of the Owasso Police Department appear during the 1970's and the structure of the department changed from single officers working at a time to groups of 2 or more, working in shifts. Uniforms became standard and increased budgets allowed for better equipment. Vehicles were still a large problem for Owasso Police. Used patrol vehicles were continually purchased from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol as they were discarded from the OHP due to high mileage and were deemed unsafe by the Highway Patrol. A full time investigator was also added in the 1970's. Incorporation as a City within Oklahoma was achieved in 1972 which officially provided for a Police Department within Owasso. Staffing in the 1970's grew to be over 14 officers by the end of the 70's.
1980's Owasso Police Department.
The Owasso Police Department underwent large structure changes in the 1980's to increase the professionalism of the department. The standard uniform was altered to a light tan mirroring the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office. Gear was standardized and the badge worn by officers was changed, but was still a star style badge. Patrol vehicles drastically improved and a standardized paint scheme of black-and-white was incorporated, along with a star that mimicked the official badge was affixed to vehicle doors. The 1980's saw the first time groups of two or more officers were assigned to overnight shifts as the population of the city grew. Specialty Units such as Police Reserves and K9 were introduced to the department during this decade. While daytime dispatchers for police and fire served in the 1970's, full time dispatching and records personnel were added to the police department during the 1980's. Staffing in the 1980's grew from around 15 officers to around 30 by the end of the decade.
1990's Owasso Police Department.
The Owasso Police Department grew drastically during the 1990's, along with the entire City. Specialty units such as Bike Patrol, Warrant Squad's and Special Operations, later called SWAT, was added in the 1990's. In 1993 the Owasso Police Department was the first law enforcement agency in the Tulsa Metropolitan area to switch officer uniforms to dark midnight navy and vehicle paint schemes went from black-and-white to an all-white with vehicle striping. Official badges changed from a star style to a shield, which was gold for full time officers and silver for reserves. Revolvers carried by officers were changed to semi-automatic pistols. Equipment and gear were substantially upgraded. Technological enhancements also came to the Owasso Police Department in the form of mobile vehicle video cameras installed in patrol vehicles and improvements in the 911 Communications Center. Staffing was increased from around 30 to around 40 in the 1990's. Civilian staffing was also increased to address the duties within the Communications (Dispatching) Division, Records and Property Room, as well as Animal Control duties.
2000's Owasso Police Department.
Work shifts by uniformed officers went from eight hour shifts in the late 90's, to 10 hour shifts, and then quickly to 12 hour shifts that survive today. The investigative division of the Owasso Police Department was increased from three investigators to six during the 2000's. Specialty Units included Bike Patrol, Clandestine Laboratory Team, K9, Reserves, Street Crimes, SWAT and others. The only uniform change was the badge which changed from a standard shield to a more LAPD style large shield that featured the OPD's symbol, the "End of the Tail" which features a Native American warrior slumped over holding a long spear atop a withering horse in the middle of the badge. Staffing increased to approximately 50 officers in the 2000's.
2010's Owasso Police Department.
Most of the 2010's structure, equipment, uniforms and such were held over from the 2000's. Uniforms were still dark navy with the 2000's badge. Improvements in gear, equipment and technology were furthered during the 2010's. Vehicles include Dodge Chargers, Ford Explorers and Dodge Ram Trucks depending on the needs of the officers to which they are assigned. Staffing was increased to around 60 officers and approximately 20 civilian staff during the latter part of the 2010's.
The Owasso Police Department is structured as a para-military organization under the Owasso Chief of Police, who is responsible for all aspects and operations of the Owasso Police Department.
The Deputy Chief of Police is the commander of the Investigative Division of the Owasso Police Department and responsible for all duties and aspects of the Owasso Police Department in the absence of the Chief of Police.
Office of Professional Standards is responsible for the policies and procedures of the Owasso Police Department and is commanded by a Captain. This Captain is also responsible for internal investigations and responsible for the integrity, vision and mission statement of the department. An Administrative Sergeant works under the Professional Standards Captain.
Patrol Division The patrol division of the Owasso Police Department is responsible for the enforcement of laws within the City of Owasso and is divided into four patrol squads that work 12 hour shifts. The Patrol Division is commanded by a Division Commander in the rank of Captain. Patrol Squads operate under the command of Lieutenants, which serve as Watch Commanders, and each patrol squad has a Sergeant which Patrol Officers work under. Specialty Units are operated under the Patrol Division.
Criminal Investigation Division (CID) is responsible for the investigation of crimes and submission of charges from the Owasso Police Department to the Municipal Prosecutor, or District Attorney's Office of the respective counties in which the City of Owasso sits, either in Tulsa County or Rogers County. The CID is commanded by the Deputy Chief of Police and operations are coordinated by a Detective Lieutenant. Detectives assigned to the CID work under a Detective Sergeant.
Civilian Staff of the Owasso Police Department operates under a Civilian Administrator. The Records Department, Property Room, Animal Control and Communications Center, to include the E911 Center, operate as civilian staff to the Owasso Police Department. The Communications Center operates squads of dispatchers that work in shifts day and night.
The Owasso Police Department Headquarters is located at 111 North Main Street in Owasso, Oklahoma and houses the Municipal Jail, offices of the Chief, Deputy Chief, Division Commanders, the E911 Center, Records Division, Property/Evidence Room, The Criminal Investigations Division and Patrol Divisions are housed in the headquarters also. This facility sits adjacent to the Municipal Court of Owasso.
The Animal Control Shelter is located at 500 South Main Street and houses Animal Control Officers, Shelter Attendants and volunteers.
The Owasso Police Firing Range is located at 700 South Main Street and has a full pistol and rifle range as well as a shoot house area with appropriate berms.
Satellite Offices within Patrol Districts are operated out of Owasso Fire Station 3 located at 9990 N 145th East Avenue, Owasso and Owasso Fire Station 4 located at 11933 East 116th St N, Owasso.
The Owasso Police Department is always looking for additional or updated information as to our history. Anyone with any information regarding our agency's history, old news clippings, photo's or just good stories are always encouraged to contact us. Contact can be made via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org