E.P.D. Citizen’s Police Academy: Week Five
Week 5 of the Enid Police Department’s Citizen Police Academy focused on narcotics and gangs. The special division would cover topics from meth, to cocaine, to biker gangs. All things that exist right here in our city.
Drugs are a problem in Enid. However, that doesn’t mean Enid is any different than any other city. Drugs are a problem everywhere. Luckily, the Enid Police Department employs some well trained officers who do the best damn job they can in keeping our streets clear of this junk.
The unit is comprised of 5 detectives. In the old days, working narcotics was a 40 hour a week job. Now, it is a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week job. These guys often go many days without seeing family.
To aid in their efforts, the officers often go undercover to either purchase drugs or to sell drugs. They showed us several video tapes of this process. One tape even had a son purchasing drugs and then getting his father involved in the sale. The father wanted to buy in bulk so that he could sell. The father revealed that many years ago, he was “caught with 80 pounds” of marijuana. Let’s nominate this guy for “Father of the Year!”
One thing that surprised me is that Enid is again seeing an upswing in methamphetamine related cases. Already this year, they have busted 4 meth labs compared to 6 for last year.
One interesting thing about the narcotics unit was that they brought out samples of the drugs for us to see. Cocaine, marijuana, and even several types of meth were available for us to examine. They also showed us all the tools of the trade. Pipes, makeshift pipes, and ingredients of meth were shown. In addition, they talked with us about the dangers of entering a meth lab. One lucky volunteer in our group was forced to gear up in all the equipment that they use to remain safe in a lab full of chemicals that could possibly kill them.
In addition, gangs were discussed. Many pictures were shown of gang graffiti used to mark territory. These pictures came straight from the streets of Enid. If you can think of a gang, they probably have someone here, whether a real member or a wanna-be.
Another issue that Enid has with gangs, is biker gangs. The Mongols were discussed at great length. They claim to be a fraternity of bikers, but in reality they are a well organized gang of thugs. And yes….there are people in Enid that are affiliated with this gang.
I was another eye-opening week. To watch tapes of people accepting delivery of drugs they bought off the internet in Enid, Oklahoma is something I didn’t expect. To see and hear story after story about the lengths criminals will go to just to get their fix….ignoring personal hygiene, home cleaning, and even their own families. All of this was stuff I expected in towns like Oklahoma City or Tulsa. Do not misunderstand me. I fully understood that drugs were in Enid, Oklahoma. I fully understood that gangs existed in Enid, Oklahoma. Hell, I grew up on the east side in the 90s, when gunshots were not an uncommon thing to hear. But to see all of this in our town to the extent it is, was eye-opening to say the least.
As many of you may have noticed, this recap is over a week past due. It should have been posted last week. Some issues have came up in my own personal life, including my health, that will prevent me from continuing with the Citizen’s Police Academy. Chief Brian O’Rourke and his staff have been very gracious to me in allowing this unprecedented access to our police department. It has truly been an honor to have been a part of it, even if only to this point. It’s also with my greatest apologies to Chief O’Rourke, Captain Grassino, Lt. Fuxa, and Officer Morris that I can not continue. There are, in fact, no words that accurately describe my own disappointment that I am unable to complete the Academy.
I would close this with just a few final thoughts. The Citizen’s Police Academy is an incredible thing. If they do this again, and I believe they are planning to do it again, I would encourage anyone who has an interest in this to not hesitate to sign up. Are you someone who is skeptical of our police department? I would encourage you to sign up as well. These guys will all welcome you into the building and explain and discuss things. They love doing it. I’m proud of our police department for allowing citizens access to the department and for teaching the public about the issues. I truly believe that Enid is in good hands.