The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

April 30, 2013

Local officials acted wisely, with caution during manhunt

Enid News & Eagle

— Much has been made about Enid’s manhunt.

At about 7:30 a.m. Monday, employees of Patriot Solution discovered a man on their lot. The suspect possibly brandished a gun and ran away.

The employees may have interrupted the man during a burglary of the electric powerline services company in east Enid. We assume this foiled burglar probably was back home before the authorities arrived.

Police directed units to search near where investigators believed they last spotted the man. An Enid police officer on a traffic stop saw the suspect running through a field shortly after the 911 call.

Law enforcement officials were working the scene with a limited description of a white male wearing dark clothing and a mask. We wish investigators had more information for this search, but they did not.

After hours were spent looking for the suspect, the tough decision was made to call off the manhunt. Since that time, some have criticized the success of the search.

First, let’s separate fact from fiction. The suspect wasn’t an armed robber, as some have speculated. And he didn’t pull the trigger.

We have a heightened awareness of organized searches after the high profile manhunts for the Boston bombers and former Enid resident Christopher Dorner.

In Monday’s manhunt, however, this suspect hadn’t killed anyone and our entire city didn’t creep to a standstill. Several schools on the east side of Enid were locked down as a safety precaution.

Local officials wisely reacted with caution. Don’t hammer the Enid Police Department or Enid Public Schools for doing their jobs. If law enforcement authorities had not acted accordingly, they would have been roundly criticized for inaction.

We’re grateful to have dedicated police officers protecting our community. Don’t take them for granted.