There’s always a lot going on in any given City department, but one of the busiest is the Police Department. From the latest concerns to upcoming programs and public opportunities, Chief Tracy Roles gives us the details in this week’s Director’s Cut.
City Beat: It seems there is always a lot going on with the Police Department — and this month is no exception. But first, the Bartlesville community was shocked by an event that occurred recently at a local store in which an attempt was apparently made to physically force an employee out of the store. Can you tell us what happened?
Chief Roles: The suspect, Quincy Wilson, went into the Lowe’s store and confronted a female employee. Mr. Wilson, for unknown reasons, attempted to force the employee to leave the store with him against her will. Another Lowe’s employee intervened, which caused Mr. Wilson to disengage with the employee and leave the store. Mr. Wilson then traveled from Bartlesville to Tulsa, where he resides.
After receiving an arrest warrant, Bartlesville Police Department detectives contacted the Tulsa Police Department and requested they go to the residence of Mr. Wilson. TPD Officers located Mr. Wilson and took him into custody. Bartlesville detectives went to Tulsa and transported Mr. Wilson back to Bartlesville, where he was booked into the Washington County Detention Center.
What is the status of the case is now?
The suspect has been charged with Attempted Kidnapping After Felony Conviction and will be afforded due process.
Is there any evidence to suggest that this was not an isolated incident?
We have obtained no information that would suggest why Mr. Wilson targeted the Lowe’s employee. Detectives attempted to speak to Mr. Wilson after his arrest; however Mr. Wilson evoked his right to remain silent.
The Police Department periodically holds free self-defense classes for women, which are taught by female police officers. When is the next class?
The next self defense class will be held Feb. 27. Details will be released on the Bartlesville Police Facebook page and in City Beat once they are finalized.
What does the class entail, and who should consider signing up for it?
These classes are instructed by female Bartlesville police officers and are open to any female in the area that may be interested in ways to protect themselves. Basic self defense techniques and situational awareness will be taught.
Citizens Police Academy
You also have the next Citizens Police Academy starting soon, on March 2. (See story in this edition of City Beat.) Who should consider signing up for this academy?
The Citizens Police Academy is open to anyone who wants a greater understanding of the inner workings of the Bartlesville Police Department.
What kinds of things will participants do/learn?
Members of the CPA class will be shown all aspects of the inner workings of the Police Department. Some of the areas that will be presented will be law enforcement drivers training, the MILO defense system, department structure and how the department is funded. Also, participants will get to attend the firing range and use most all the weapons that officers have access to. A CPA participant can also learn the effects of pepper spray or a taser, if they choose to. The CPA is an immersive program that is certain to teach most anyone something they do not know about the police department and policing as an institution.
School Resource Officers
The City added several police officer positions this budget year so that every school will have its own School Resource Officer. Have those positions been filled? Where are we in that process?
As of now, and for the remainder of the current school year, there are six officers assigned to the Bartlesville Public Schools. By the start of the next school year (August 2023), a total of nine officers will be assigned as SROs. Nine SROs will allow for a police officer to be in every one of the Bartlesville Public Schools. I am so thankful for the partnership between the City of Bartlesville and the Bartlesville Public Schools and for the true commitment to keep our kids safe so they can better focus in their learning environment.
The two new Mental Health Co-Response Teams began their shifts recently. It’s early in the program, but how is that going so far?
More and more, police officers are being asked to deal with people who are suffering from some sort of mental health issue. However, officers are not being required by the State to receive more mandatory continuing education on how to deal with mental health issues. We have to do better, because the demand and increased instances of encountering a person with a mental health issue growing.
One approach we have taken is to develop a Mental Health Co-Response Team. Although, our Co-Response Teams are in the very early stage of existence, these teams have gotten off to a tremendous start, due largely to those who currently staff the teams. I am super excited to monitor the success of this program, as I feel this program will have a major positive impact across the city of Bartlesville. This program has been made possible by the generous support of our City Council, our city manager and by the wonderful partnership between the City of Bartlesville and Grand Mental Health.