The Edmond Sun

Local News

April 25, 2013

Police chief shares lessons learned with AGs

EDMOND — Social media is a must-use tool for reaching certain audiences in today’s information age, Edmond Police Chief Bob Ricks said Thursday.

Ricks was one of the featured speakers during a Thursday-Friday conference at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel on law enforcement in a new age of public safety. It is being sponsored by the National Association of Attorneys General. Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt is chairman of the association’s 11-state Midwestern Region.

Topics being addressed include crime prevention best practices, lessons from law enforcement, the dramatic reduction in crime in New York City, emerging solutions with domestic violence homicides, breaking the cycle of criminal behavior and the true costs and benefits of reducing violent crime.

In addition to offering a list of public safety lessons learned, Ricks discussed aspects of the investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing and the Boston Marathon bombing. It was the 18th anniversary for the OKC bombing and the 20th for the fiery end of the Branch Davidian stand off near Waco, Texas.

On April 19, 1995, Ricks was special agent in charge of the FBI’s Oklahoma City office. While driving back from a law enforcement charity event, he was briefed on what had happened. A colleague asked him if he knew what day it was. Ricks asked why. He was reminded about Waco.

“At that point, my heart somewhat sank,” Ricks said. “We’d all been on high alert the year after. The right-wing militant groups were really beating the drums very strongly.”

In Oklahoma City, Ricks was escorted downtown where he met the city’s police chief and fire chief. They met in front of the shell of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. They tried to estimate what the number of fatalities would be.

“We had estimates as high as 500 when we first arrived,” Ricks said.

Regarding jurisdictional authority, officials at the time were operating under Presidential Decision Directive 2, which said the FBI would coordinate response to a terrorist event on U.S. soil, Ricks said. Ricks and the officials agreed it was terrorism and they offered to give him all the support he needed.

“Then I’m standing there in front of this building and I say, ‘Where do you go from here?’” Ricks recalled.

The first thing he did, coming from a perspective that valued religion, was to say a prayer seeking guidance and asking that justice would be revealed through their work that day.

“Then we had to swing into action,” he said.

Officials expanded an outside perimeter of more than 16 blocks wide, Ricks said. Bombing debris was collected up to a half-mile away. A permanent command post was established and by the end of that day Southwestern Bell had installed more than 200 phone lines.

On the morning of April 20, 1995, Ricks was near the building when he was told about the discovery of a rear axle from the Ryder truck that contained the bomb. Ricks told them to guard it with their lives, knowing it would probably be the key piece of evidence.

A vehicle identification number on the rear axle led to a crime bureau in Dallas, which identified the Ryder truck, which led to Ryder headquarters in Florida, which led agents to a body shop in Junction City, Kan. Employees helped the FBI on a composite drawing and local hotel employees supplied a name: Timothy McVeigh.

McVeigh was already in jail after being pulled over about 80 miles north of Oklahoma City by an observant state trooper who noticed a missing license plate on a yellow Mercury Marquis. McVeigh had a concealed weapon and was arrested 90 minutes after the bombing.

Ricks offered lessons learned including know your counterparts. On April 19, 1995, when he met with the Oklahoma City officials, they had established relationships and trust. He mentioned the Edmond Police Department’s relationship with Edmond Public Schools and active shooter training scenarios.

Get the right people to carry out the investigation utilizing local people, Ricks said. Also, examine the lasting impact, he said, citing McVeigh’s feelings about Waco. He urged professionals to be guided by evidence, not theories. And he urged them to be media savvy.

Other speakers included DeWade Langley, director of the University of Central Oklahoma’s School of Criminal Justice. During an overview of best practices, Langley touched on information relevant for agencies in places like Edmond, Lawton and Stillwater. He said it is easier to change the behavior of, say, victims of burglary rather than criminals. | 341-2121, ext. 108

Text Only
Local News
  • Oak Tree Official offers glowing update on Senior Open

    An official who has been in charge of tournaments since 2001 said the 2014 U.S. Senior Open is probably the best city event partnership he has seen.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Edmond soldier settles in housing benefits case

    U.S. Attorney Sanford C. Coats said Thursday a U.S. Army reserve soldier from Edmond has agreed to pay the government $20,000 to settle civil claims related to obtaining fraudulent housing benefits.

    April 17, 2014

  • Stevenson 1 Oklahoman returns home focused on pro-gay agenda

    Troy Stevenson remembers the day when football players discovered him and his boyfriend holding hands behind an Edmond high school. After they had been chased off school property, Stevenson, called to check on his boyfriend.
    “He was in hysterics,” Stevenson said. “… Like me, I thought he was scared. Did people see us? What would people think?”

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lawn Experts’ tips can help your lawn bounce back

    Chances are your lawn is looking a bit bedraggled after this rough winter.
    That’s not surprising. Between brutally cold temperatures and drying winds, turf took a beating this year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gracelawn grows larger

    The Edmond City Council voted 5-0 in favor of the city purchasing 20.5 acres of land immediately to the north of Gracelawn Cemetery. Purchasing the property is needed for future expansion of the cemetery, Mayor Charles Lamb, said.
    Gracelawn Cemetery is owned and operated by the city and is located on the northwest corner of Danforth and Boulevard.

    April 17, 2014

  • Warmth needed to grow tomatoes

    The time for those growing tomatoes in their garden is when the soil temperature is above 60°F and fear of frost has past. We are generally safe from frosts after April 5.  However, frosts have occurred as late as May 1 in the Oklahoma City area. If you planted your tomatoes on or before April 5 last year you would have covered them several times as there were several late frosts. If you plant early, be ready to cover your plants during nighttime frosts.

    April 17, 2014

  • Debate Senate hopefuls meet in first debate

     Accountability to the American people and the $17.5 trillion debt continues to be a major issue in the race for U.S. Senate office being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn.
    The Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee hosted a debate Wednesday for three of the seven Republicans running for the U.S. Senate seat that is being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oklahoma City FC invites fans to design club scarf

    Oklahoma’s top-tier soccer club, Oklahoma City FC, invites soccer fanatics across Oklahoma to be a part of its future by designing its scarf.
    Scarves are a tradition among soccer clubs and are typically a team’s most recognizable accessory. Scarves are a matter of pride for hard-core supporters and feature team colors, logo and inspiring slogans. Scarves are a part of a team’s identity.

    April 16, 2014

  • MS_injection well.jpg Agency clarifies earthquake-related misinformation

    A state agency says misinformation related to the debate about the cause of more earthquakes across Central Oklahoma includes oil well types, well numbers and injection pressure.
    The Prague sequence of 2011 along the Wilzetta Fault zone included a significant foreshock, a main shock of magnitude 5.7 and numerous aftershocks. It has been suggested that this sequence represents tremors triggered by fluid injection.
    More recently, earthquakes have been recorded in the vicinity of Jones, Arcadia Lake, Edmond, Guthrie, Langston and Crescent. Regulators and scientists are working together to better understand what’s causing all the shaking.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff seeks items for agency history project

    If you have historic pictures or artifacts related to the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, the agency is asking the public to share them.
    “The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office is working on a history project. If you, your family, friends or acquaintances have any old photos or artifacts related to the OCSO we would love to have them or a digital copy,” said Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel.

    April 16, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

     View Results