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Police Chief: public input on city services is a necessity for Tahlequah

During a Jan. 22 chat session, Tahlequah Police Chief Nate King updated the public on call numbers and the much-anticipated 911 move to the police department.

The department has logged 1,885 calls in the past two weeks; two burglaries; six thefts; 12 shoplifting incidents; and 20 arrests.

“We’ve conducted 772 building checks, 598 citizen contacts which consists of traffic stops or pedestrian stops,” King said. “We’ve work 35 [vehicle crashes] and we taken 80 reports and our average response time in that two weeks has been five minutes and seven seconds.”

King gave a shoutout to Lt. Bryan Qualls, who led the department with 154 calls for service. Lt. Matt Frits and Sgt. Mitchell Sellers conducted and taught the mandatory training day that dealt with custody and control defensive tactics.

“Probably the biggest thing to happen the last two weeks is 911 has moved into the police department. Now we’re still working out some of the kinks but every emergency services dispatcher in the county is now in one room, which is something that hasn’t been since the inception of 911 over 25 years ago,” he said.

The chief said he’s thankful to all organizations that made the move possible. The office of Emergency Management has moved to where the old Cherokee County 911 Center was located on College Avenue.

“If we were dealing with convenience only, that 911 move would not have happened because it was not convenient for any of the entities involved. The reason this move happened was for the citizens of Cherokee County. Each organization involved in this, it turned their life upside down for lack of a better description,” King said.

Officers also provided security at the First United Methodist Church, which was used as a warming station/shelter during the two winter weather events. King said Cherokee Nation Marshal Service stepped in and assisted with shifts.

The city of Tahlequah is having a public meeting, Monday, Jan. 29, wherein public input on city services will be discussed.

“This is our community. It’s a community of 17,000 to 18,000 people but it takes all of us to make Tahlequah what it is and I’m thankful that the mayor and council are welcoming input from the citizens [and] I’ll be there to take any input that anyone has,” he said.



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