The Osage Nation Police Department transported a record amount of prisoners to the Osage Nation Courts on April 4.
“At first it was kind of a shock because we had never in ONPD history needed a van to transport prisoners,” said Osage Nation Chief of Police, Nick Williams.
ONPD transported seven prisoners, two females and five males. All of which were in jail for criminal charges.
“I thought I was going to have to make multiple trips transporting the prisoners,” said ON Police Officer Patrick Luey Jr.
Luckily, Williams contacted the Osage Nation Counseling Center who let ONPD borrow their government van.
“I wanted a tribal van with the Osage Nation seal on it since we were taking the prisoners to court,” Williams said.
Luey drove the van and thoroughly inspected it before loading the five male prisoners.
The two female prisoners rode in ON Police Sergeant Michael Fish’s vehicle.
“Fish shadowed the van to and from the jail,” Williams said. “I also had all available units meet at the Osage Nation Tribal Courts and help get prisoners situated.”
Usually the prisoners are put in a holding area but since they had male and female prisoners they had to be separated. The females were put in the holding area and the males were placed in the courtroom.
“The prisoners were in good spirits and nobody gave us problems,” Luey said.
ON Courts had 14 cases that day and on March 28 there were 16 cases.
“Usually we have only four or five cases,” said Kimberly Bunde, court clerk for the Osage Nation Courts. “But everything went smoothly and it was a really good court day.”
Williams believes the rise in arrests is due to their initiative called “Operation Sweep” that began in March. The initiative focuses on crimes happening on tribal lands such as the Indian villages as well as community policing.
“ON Police officers have been going around introducing themselves to residents and letting the public know we are here to help,” Williams said.
Also, ONPD has hired three new officers, William Mitchell (Osage), Jace Williams (Seminole) and Kyle Streets (Cherokee).
ONPD now has 20 active police officers including Chief of Police and one officer who is employed by the Osage Nation Attorney General’s Office.