The Oklahoma Highway Patrol
by Shelley Fowler
I doubt any of them could have imagined they would be spending New Year's Eve in our little town. They should have been in their own stations and districts, reminding drinkers and speeders that breaking the law gets you in trouble. Or they should have been ringing in 2007 with their own families. But instead, they were with us, having answered an urgent call sent out by our trooper, Duane Johnson. The OHP troopers arrived in blizzard units and 4 x 4's, and went to work under the command of Captain Darryl Jordan. We also had Communications Captain Shawn Lockwood, who commands the communications division. His patrol unit is the fast response team for situations like ours, where the power is down. The OHP “station” was literally a closet in the corner of the county fair building and it was from there that the Oklahoma Highway Patrol immediately began making order out of chaos. I was impressed by the quiet demeanor of Captain Jordan as he worked to bring reassurance to desperate ranchers and field questions coming at him from all directions.
But his troopers? They weren't as quiet as their leader. They were all good-natured and friendly when they came through the door, seeking a moment's respite from the cold. And to a man, as they were handed a steaming bowl of stew or a hot cup of coffee, the troopers never failed to heartily thank the servers and helpers for what they, too, were doing.
When it was learned that a rancher north of the Cimarron River was without special medication, Captain Jordan began making arrangements for an “air drop” from an OHP airplane. Doing such a thing took lots of strategy and calculating, but the mission was a success, thanks in part to the youngest trooper, Ryan Smith. From what I heard later, the box landed less than twenty feet from the house. Pretty impressive!
So the next time you meet one of our troopers on the street, or when you get stopped by a trooper between here and Oklahoma City , remember that just like so many others, these men helped get our county started on the road to recovery. Thanks to each and every one of you for all you did for Cimarron County !
Captain Darryl Jordan #55, Troop Commander Troop I - Guymon
Captain Shawn Lockwood, Captain of Communications, OKC
Trooper John Webb #236, Lake Patrol - Weatherford Troop W
Trooper Gary Cassingham #800, Troop S - Beaver
Trooper Tony Nelson #859, Lake Patrol - OKC
Trooper Lyle Lubbers #578, Troop S - Clinton (Size and weights division)
Trooper Robert Keeton #602 Troop W Enid area
Trooper Boyd Perry #903, Troop S Boise City (also assisted with hay drops, etc.)
Trooper Duane Johnson #280, Boise City
Trooper Adrian Carrillo #382, Boise City
Trooper Ryan Smith #629, Goodwell
Trooper Trey Sheets #903, Texhoma
Trooper Grant Arnold #325, Guymon
Trooper Stacy Shryock #754 Mutual
Trooper Derrick Stewart #671, Beaver
Trooper Roy Anderson #404, Troop O, Aircraft pilot- Woodward
And a special “thank you” goes out to Trooper Duane Johnson. He made all the arrangements to move snow and open the doors of the Senior Citizen's Center, so that the Red Cross would have a place to begin distributing aid and food. It was Duane who led the way, so that we could follow. We are very fortunate to be able to call him one of us!