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Police Chief: Young to retire after 40 years with Tahlequah

During a Tuesday, Oct. 10 chat session, Tahlequah Police Chief Nate King announced that Assistant Chief Steve Young was retiring at the end of the month.

“The most notable thing today, and you’ll have to pardon me if I get a little emotional, our longtime police officer for Tahlequah [and] longtime Tahlequah citizen Steve Young has announced his retirement,” King said.

Young has been employed with the city for over 40 years when he started out as a dog catcher, also known as an animal control officer. Young also served as a dispatcher, patrol officer, day-shift sergeant, and captain for TPD before he was promoted to assistant chief by King. He also served as interim police chief when Norman Fisher was elected sheriff of Cherokee County.

“Steve has received so many awards over the years but really what has made Steve Young an iconic lawman in Tahlequah is the man that he is; the husband; the father; the son; the brother; the nephew; the friend; the mentor that he’s been for all these years,” King said.

Additionally, King said Young was the “glue” to TPD when times were tough and held the department together.

“He’s going to be missed tremendously,” he said.

In other business, King touched on the matter of Tahlequah’s parks and said the city has been working to eliminate encampments on private property.

“We will begin tonight vigorously enforcing the ordinances that the city of Tahlequah has. One, no sleeping on the streets and the second is no camping in the park without expressed permission from the mayor and council,” King said.

King said they’ve partnered with the WRAP Project, Working to Recover, Assist and Prevent, a group of people who plan to take a proactive approach with the issue.

“They’re going to come and do assessments and offer them some services as far as getting to family members, work, housing, things of that nature,” King said. “It’s one of those situations that is difficult from a law enforcement standpoint. I won’t lie, it falls on us.”

The department received equipment upgrades with their firearms and bulletproof vests, and admins and officers spent time practicing with those weapons at the firing range on Monday, Oct. 9.

King said officers continue to see at least one property crime per day.

“One big change reporting wise that we’re about to go to is on accident investigations on accident reports. We will no longer be providing a diagram within that accident unless it’s an injury accident,” he said.


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