Town Of Kiefer Expanding Police Department
As Tulsa continues to grow, surrounding cities and towns are seeing the impact.
The Town of Kiefer, which is 15 minutes southwest of Tulsa in Creek County, has seen an expansion of business in the past few years and now they are looking to expand their police force.
Right now Kiefer Police Department now has four full-time officers and they are looking to hire a fifth. Not only are they expanding their force, but they are also getting a new police department building.
“It’s easier to list the things that work, than don’t work because pretty much the building is in a bad state of repair," said Kiefer Police Chief Johnny O’Mara.
Chief O'Mara says the building the Kiefer Police Department is in was built in the 1940s. Since then, it's served as City Hall, the fire department, the police department, and at one point all three were housed there at the same time.
“It’s old, it's funky, its dilapidated, it smells pretty bad and it’s time for an upgrade,” said O’Mara.
Chief O'Mara says one of the biggest problems is that they don't have a place to secure suspects when they bring them in to do the paperwork. Instead, they have a bench that isn’t even bolted into the ground.
“You're supposed to handcuff them here but there's nothing holding it down,” said O’Mara. “So you get someone big enough and they get angry and out comes the bench.”
Chief O'Mara says the new building will have several improvements, like holding cells, an interview room, a training facility, and even a dispatch center. Chief O'Mara says the new department is very necessary because of Kiefer's continued growth.
He says from 2000 to 2010, they had a 60% population increase. Not only are several new businesses coming to town, but new homes are constantly being built.
“We have one housing addition that started about two years ago and they are completely full now,” said Kiefer Town Administrator Melanie Grove.
Grove says she believes Kiefer is seeing a big impact because a lot of growth is moving south on Highway 75 and there's so much open space for businesses.
"They're starting to realize we're here and coming into our town and we are getting a lot of positive feedback with our little town," said Grove.
“It’s kind of the perfect storm of good things that are happening in this little town,” said Chief O’Mara.
The plan for the police station has been approved, however, a timeline for construction has not been set yet.