oklahoma highway patrol

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers have arrested a 29-year-old Cushing man who allegedly struck and killed a trooper at the scene of a traffic accident during the weekend.

OHP Lt. John Vincent said Steven Wayne Clark was arrested Friday at his home and taken to the Seminole County Jail, where Vincent says the district attorney is planning to file first-degree manslaughter charges related to the death of Trooper Nicholas Dees.

Jail records did not indicate whether Clark has an attorney.

Dash cameras
Fernost / Creative Commons

New legislation that took effect Nov. 1 requires audio and video recordings attached to law enforcement or law enforcement vehicles to be made available to the public for inspection and copying.

HB2676, by Rep. Ken Walker and Sen. David Holt, previously exempted the Department of Public Safety (DPS) from releasing any audio or video recordings.

All other law enforcement agencies were subject to the same policy that required the release of information when requested.

P. Alejandro Díaz / Wikipedia Commons

Authorities are investigating the cause of an airplane crash in Okmulgee County that killed the only person on board.

Officials say the body of the plane's pilot, Gene Thompson of Tulsa, was found in the wreckage following Friday's crash.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says plane crashed outside the town of Preston in Okmulgee County. Preston is about five miles north of Okmulgee.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol cadets lining up during academy training.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol

The Oklahoma House has given final passage to legislation that provides a mechanism to raise the salaries of Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers.

The House voted 94-0 without debate Tuesday and sent the bill to Gov. Mary Fallin to be signed into law. The measure was previously approved by the state Senate.

Richard Bauer / Flickr Creative Commons

Some attorneys who specialize in obtaining arrest videos from police say they're concerned a bill designed to make Highway Patrol dash-cam videos open to the public could actually have the opposite effect.

 

Oklahoma Highway Patrol cadets lining up during academy training.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol

A state senator from Coalgate hopes to make it easier to become an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper.

At the request of the agency, Republican state Sen. Josh Brecheen wrote a bill that would lower the age limit from 23 to 21 and reduce the educational requirements needed to become a trooper.

The bill passed the Senate on Tuesday on a 43-2 vote and now heads to the House for consideration.

Graduates of the 60th Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper academy.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol

Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers would have their equipment allowance doubled for things like uniforms and practice ammunition under a bill approved by the Oklahoma House.

The House voted 84-3 for the bill on Monday that would boost the amount from $150 to $300 a month. It would also increase the equipment allowance for cadets from $100 to $200 per month.

The House author of the bill, Rep. Steve Vaughn, says the measure is among several to help increase pay for troopers.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol cadets lining up during academy training.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol

Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers would get a pay increase under a bill that has unanimously cleared a Senate committee.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 22-0 on Wednesday for the bill by Edmond Republican state Sen. Clark Jolley.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. Brian Orr
Kate Carlton / KGOU/Oklahoma Tornado Project

For over a decade, Lieutenant Brian Orr of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has responded to disasters throughout the state, including both the 1999 and 2013 Moore tornadoes. He remembers each of them clearly.  

“It was very difficult to see things, and of course first arriving, hearing screams from people and just the total devastation,” Orr said.

Graduates of the 60th Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper academy.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol

 The Oklahoma House has overwhelmingly approved a $7.3 million plan to give state Highway Patrol troopers a pay increase.

The House voted 90-0 on Thursday for the bill by Dacoma Republican Rep. Jeff Hickman. It now goes to the state Senate.

Hickman says one-third of the roughly 770 troopers currently are retirement eligible and that there's a critical "manpower issue."

The bill would boost the starting salary of a cadet from $33,192 to $38,602. Starting troopers who have completed their probation would see their pay boosted from $38,000 to $44,194.