OKC, Tulsa Structures to Light up Thursday in Honor of DPS/OHP 80th Anniversary
(Okla.)–Two of Oklahoma’s most recognizable buildings will light up in blue the evening of April 20 in honor of the 80th anniversary of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. The Devon Energy Center in Oklahoma City and the BOK Center in Tulsa will be lit Thursday evening through the night to recognize 80 years of service to the citizens of Oklahoma.
“The Department of Public Safety has faithfully served the people of Oklahoma for 80 years,” said Commissioner Michael C. Thompson. “On behalf of all the former and current members of the department, including the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, I would like to thank all of the communities across Oklahoma that support the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.”
OHP Chief Ricky Adams said, “I echo the Commissioner’s appreciation and would like to add that our commitment to Oklahoma is unwavering. The OHP has lost 35 brave men in service to our state. We hope to honor the loss of these men every day through our dedication to Oklahoma citizens.”
On April 20, 1937, Gov. Ernest W. Marland successfully led the passage of legislation enabling the creation of the Department of Public Safety, employing civilian personnel as well as uniformed law enforcement officers. He appointed M. “Bud” Gentry to be the first commissioner and H.E. Bailey as the assistant commissioner. Some 85 Troopers graduated from the first OHP Academy.
Today, the DPS employs 609 civilians across the state, and 792 uniformed personnel serve in the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.