Luther Bishop

      The law enforcement career of Luther Bishop began only a few years after Oklahoma became a state. He was a small town peace officer, a deputy sheriff, a deputy U.S. Marshal, and an Oklahoma City Police Department detective. Without any formal training, Bishop learned how to be an effective investigator. His investigative experience included conducting liquor raids, tracking down train robbers, hunting bank robbers, and gathering evidence that would hold up in court. The newspapers of the day described Bishop as the “two gun state operative who faced outlaws with a gun in each hand.” A crime wave of 52 Oklahoma bank robberies in 1924 prompted Governor Trapp to create an agency of special investigators to combat outlaws. In 1925 the legislature appropriated $78,000 to establish the State Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, now known as the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Luther Bishop was one of the Bureau’s first three agents and was credited with reducing bank robberies in the state by 75 percent in just one year. The federal government was engaged in their investigation of the murders of Osage Indians in Oklahoma. The federal authorities requested the assistance of OSBI agent Luther Bishop. Together with FBI agent Frank Smith, Bishop solved the case known as the “Reign of Terror of the Osage Hills.” Agent Bishop was shot and killed in his own home under suspicious circumstances.  It is believed he was murdered as a result of his work for the State Bureau of Investigation.

TOM L. V. HEGGY


          Tom L.V. Heggy was born in Stafford, Kansas, served in the U.S. Army before joining the Oklahoma City Police Department in 1960. Heggy served in Patrol, Vice, Records and in OCPD’s first criminal intelligence unit. He rose thru the ranks to command of the Detective Division and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.  Heggy was named Chief of Police in January 1977 and served in that position until his retirement from the Oklahoma City Police Department in 1982.

Chief Heggy promoted education and technology throughout his career.  He advocated college degrees and partnered with OSU to accredit the Police Training Center. Heggy promoted specialization, creating a Sex Crimes Unit, Assault Unit and Crime Analysis Unit.  Technical Investigators were trained by Scotland Yard resulting in a Blood Stain/Pattern Expert being recognized by the local Courts.  He expanded police facilities, merged dispatch for Police and Fire and introduced Computer Aided Dispatching.

In 1982 Governor High named Heggy interim director of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics, and in 1984 he was named the Agency’s Director. Heggy held five degrees, and had a passion for teaching. He taught at FBI schools and state colleges and was instrumental in developing Oklahoma City University’s Criminal Justice education curriculum and served as OCU’s Dean of Students 1988-2002.  He was a guest lecturer throughout the world and the recipient of numerous awards.

Tom Heggy died in August 18, 2011 at the age of 80. Heggy is posthumously inducted into the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Hall of Fame with the award presented to his children, Rodney Heggy Jon Heggy and Katrina Nash.

 

GLEN SHIRLEY

          The law enforcement career of Glenn D. Shirley began in the 1930’s and lasted for more than thirty years. He served on the Stillwater Police Department for 21 years, rising to the rank of Captain and Assistant Chief of Police. Shirley served at a time where he witnessed  the development of modern law enforcement systems such as the use of two way radios, traffic radars along with fingerprint and identification record systems. In 1937 Glenn received a diploma in Criminology from the Institute of Applied Science. Shirley participated in the creation of professional law enforcement training programs in Oklahoma.

Following his law enforcement career, Glenn Shirley focused on his writing career, specializing in books and articles about Oklahoma lawmen and outlaws. Writing over two dozen books and hundreds of articles, Glenn became known as a leading authority on law enforcement history. These books included biographies of Oklahoma lawmen Bill Tilghman, Heck Thomas, and Bud Ledbetter. For many years, Glenn contributed regularly to the Oklahoma State Trooper magazine. Thanks to Glenn Shirley, today we can know those Oklahoma lawmen who pursued outlaws on horseback. His work is based on attention to detail, painstaking research, and dedication to the truth.

 

STEVE DOWNIE

          Steve Downie began his law enforcement career in 1980 with the Tulsa Police Department.  During his 26 year career Downie served as a patrol officer, a member of the Mounted Patrol, K-9 officer and member of the Tulsa Special Operations Team where he earned a reputation for exceptional dedication and service to his fellow officers and in training other agencies. Downie has been recognized by both civic and law enforcement organizations and profession associations for his law enforcement work and humanitarian efforts.

In June 1996 Officer Downie demonstrated tremendous courage during the pursuit of an armed robbery suspect. When Downie and fellow officers closed in on the suspect they were fired upon and engaged in a gun battle with the suspect. Downie sustained gunshot wounds while a fellow officer was mortally wounded in the gun battle.  In honor of his valor, Officer Downie was the recipient of the Tulsa Police Medal of Honor, American Red Cross’s “Every Day Hero” Award and recognized nationally as a finalist for IACP’s Top Cop Award.  Since this incident Officer Downie has worked with local, state and national agencies to update curriculum and train officers in street survival skills and how to deal with post-traumatic stress.

In retirement Downie continues to share his personal experiences with recruits locally.  Additionally he served as a training instructor for United Nation forces in Kosovo in 2006 and 2007 where he worked to train United Nation forces in close protection of assorted VIPs.

Officer Downie currently works for the U. S. Marshal’s Service in Tulsa.

Steven Downie’s personal commitment to the community continues with his involvement in the “Meals on Wheels” program and a host of other services to assist the elderly.  He and his wife also assist with a homebound ministry program.

BOB A. RICKS

Bob A. Ricks was born in Houston, Texas and received his Juris Doctorate degree from Baylor Law School in 1969.  Ricks began his law enforcement career in 1969, serving 26 years in Federal law enforcement, rising from the position of Special Agent to Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for Oklahoma. During his career he served as Chief Counsel and Senior Inspector for D.EA. for three years, founded the New Jersey Terrorism Task Force which led to arrests of domestic terrorists responsible for bombings in the United States.  President Reagan appointed him to lead “Operation Goldenrod,” to address international terrorism and named Deputy Assistant Director responsible for all FBI investigations of domestic and international terrorists.  He supervised the FBI’s undercover operation, “ABSCAM,” which led to the conviction of one U.S. Senator and five Congressmen.  He helped lead the U.S. response to the downing of Pan Am Flight 103.  In 1993, he was the press spokesman and coordinator of negotiators during the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco and served as the initial Incident Commander of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

In September 1995, Ricks was appointed Commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety and Cabinet Secretary for Safety and Security.  On February 21, 2002, he was appointed Director of Homeland Security for the State of Oklahoma, by Governor Frank Keating.

On October 20, 2003, Ricks was named Chief of Police for the City of Edmond and presently serves in that capacity.  He is an active member of Henderson Hills Baptist Church, Edmond Rotary, and numerous local civic groups. He is a council member of CLEET, a Life Member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, a member of IACP’s Homeland Security Committee, and a former Chairman of the Metro Area Chiefs’ Association.  Mr. Ricks is also a Ronald Reagan Alumni Association member; Bob is married to Janis and has two children and five grandchildren.

JOHN WHETSEL

John Whetsel graduated from Midwest City High School and began his law enforcement career in 1967, joined the Choctaw Police Department in 1972 and served as Choctaw Chief of Police for 21 years before being elected Oklahoma County Sheriff in 1997. Whetsel has earned an Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate, an Associate degree in Police Science from Southwestern College, a Bachelor degree in Government and Sociology from the University of Central Oklahoma, and has Master’s studies in Criminal Justice.

Sheriff Whetsel is a past president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Oklahoma Sheriff and Peace Officers Association.  He is a member of the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association, the National Sheriff’s Association, and is a cofounder of the Major County Sheriff’s Association and has authored many law enforcement articles and is a nationally recognized authority on police pursuits having testified before Congressional committees and legislative hearings.

Sheriff Whetsel serves on the National Executive Committee of the Boy Scouts of America Law Enforcement Explorers, the Oklahoma Board of Tests for Alcohol and Drug Influence, chairs the Oklahoma Masonic Law Enforcement Recognition Committee, and serves on numerous community advisory boards.  He has been the recipient of many honors, including the 2001 Oklahoma Grand Law Officer of the Year, Oklahoma Highway Safety Officer Top Cop award, a U.S. Jaycees Outstanding Young Man of America, and recently was inducted into the Sheriff’s Hall of Fame.

Sheriff Whetsel’s family includes his wife Mitzi; daughters Jonna Whetsel and Stacy Moore, son-in-law Brock Moore, and granddaughter Kailey Moore, and grandson Bailey Moore. John and his wife Mitzi live in Choctaw and attend St. John’s Church in Edmond.