By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Garfield County Sheriff Jerry Niles has a few New Year’s resolutions for his department.
“We have some goals we’re trying to reach this year,” Niles said. “We want to increase our training for the department. I have a five-year goal that at least 60 percent of our deputies will achieve the state’s intermediate law enforcement certification and, hopefully, 30 percent will meet the advanced level.”
The Sheriff’s Office has 21 deputies, including the undersheriff.
Jailers are not deputies, though Niles said the department will begin working toward the goal of deputized jailers during 2014. One is scheduled to go to basic law enforcement academy in May.
Another goal for 2014 is to move the administrative functions of the Sheriff’s Office into the former Army Reserve building at 216 W Oxford, Niles said.
To be officed in that same building are Garfield County Emergency Management Department and Garfield County Roads superintendent.
No moving date has yet been projected, Niles said.
“Some time in January, the mechanical engineers will have the initial plans,” Niles said.
Beyond that, Niles said his resolutions for the department include continuing serving the public and solving and preventing crimes.
Enid Police Chief Brian O’Rourke also has resolutions to improve service to the community, reduce crime and increase public safety.
“I want to get the department fully staffed so we can start new programs to enhance our capabilities,” O’Rourke said.
Right now, the department is about 11 members down from full staffing level, O’Rourke said.
He wants to start a bike patrol for downtown and get newly purchased Ford Interceptor SUVs into service.
“We definitely want to increase our presence downtown,” O’Rourke said.
O’Rourke wants to increase visibility on patrol throughout Enid and continue to be proactive on issues that affect the community.
City Manager Eric Benson said his resolutions are to continue economic growth, complete the downtown revival and find ways to generate the revenue necessary to take care of the community’s infrastructure needs.
Streets, water and sewer systems, and strategy for the delivery of water are on the top of his list, Benson said.
“I’d really like this community to find the commitment to invest in itself for its infrastructure needs,” Benson said.
Edwin Vineyard, vice president of the Enid campus for Northern Oklahoma College, said his resolutions for the new year are about improving student life and success at the college.
“One thing we’re doing is, we are going to build a new dorm,” Vineyard said. “We’re doing a study right now to find the best location for that.”
Looking at 2014, construction of a new dormitory could be started as early as this summer, Vineyard said.
He also wants to see enhancement of supports for students, whether that is in the area of academics or the area of improving students’ lives.
Vineyard looks forward to new ideas and new intiatives of incoming Dean of Students Brad Jennings, who moves into his new office at Enid this semester.
At the Enid campus of Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Dean Wayne McMillin also is focused on making things better for students.
“We certainly want to increase enrollment if we can, and increase opportunities for bachelor’s and master’s degrees,” McMillin said.
He also wants to maintain strong community partnerships and build additional ones.
“My goals are always to continue to maintain what our students need and what our students want,” McMillin said. “I’ve kind of been thinking about that over the holidays.”
Another resolution is to continue providing “a great facility for our faculty and staff to continue to prosper and to grow,” McMilllin said.