O.C. Police Department Driver's School

Category: Community Service
Published on Wednesday, 02 January 2013 16:19
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O.C. POLICE DEPARTMENT DRIVER’S SCHOOL

From the April, 1965 Gazette. These schools became a standrd part of the Police Department curriculum and continued for a number of years.

Early in the year, I was visiting with Major Stevens, head of the Oklahoma City Police Department Traffic Division. He had a list of accidents on his desk that involved his patrol cars and men. He was not happy about them. With tongue in cheek, I suggested that the Region put on a school for the new officers. I knew we could do it but didn't know what the reception would be. To my surprise, he took me up on it. We got together with Captain Gould, in charge of training, and scheduled around race weekends.

policeNow to find instructors. Who else to be the Dean but DAVE DOOLEY? Here was someone that could drive well and (had) the technical knowledge to tell why. Now who else? ELOUISE NORRIS would be the obvious choice. Her experience on the track and in Shelby’s School made her a natural. She can also talk well in front of groups. Who else? TOMMY ALLEN, naturally. A wealth of good experience on the track plus almost one million miles of driving without an accident plus the ability to present his subject.

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Once we had the faculty, I turned the curriculum over to them and started looking for a car. JACK KENT of Dub Richardson Ford came thru with his own hi-performance Mustang.

The lecture session met at 33O PM on March 10th. All three teachers presented their lectures and it was wonderful the attention they got from the 21 trainees. After about an hour or so we had a. quick break and then spent an hour answering questions. The lecturers were wise enough to point the talks toward high speed (?) driving in town with traffic.

The following Saturday, the faculty and ten of the trainees met at the fairgrounds, ably assisted by GEORGE and MARGARET ENGLAND, DAN CRAIG and ‘ME’. We laid out a good figure 8 course using part of the old road course. Since the Police Department doesn't have the use of hi-performance Mustangs, we used a patrol car for training. DAVE handled the ‘on track’ training and ELOUISE and TOMMY gave advice and explanations. After all patrolmen had their tour, they went out solo, led by a 4.2 Jaguar driven by you know who. DAVE would tour the course easily for two laps then walk away, gaining 10 to 20 seconds per lap on the 1/2 mile course. One officer allowed as how he doubted if ‘that’ Jag would ever be given a ticket for speeding by being caught from behind. After the day was over, Major STEVENS, Captain BROKAW and Captain GOULD asked if we could have extra training sessions for the men. We are working on that now.

Saturday, March 19th saw a repeat of the on-course training for the rest of the trainees. I was out of town but it seemed to run just as smoothly as before. (That means something but I choose to ignore it.)

It is possible that this will be a standard part of the Police School curriculum and if so we have the personnel qualified to teach.

Having an idea is easy. When you have people like DAVE, ELOUISE, TOMMY, the ENGLANDS, CRAIGS and others with you on a project, bringing the idea to completion is just as easy.

David Wood