Cushing Deputy Police Chief Tully Folden was the special guest speaker at Tuesday’s Lions Club meeting.  Folden was introduced by Lion of the Day and Cushing Police Chief, Terry Brannon.

Folden gave an overview of what he deemed the highlights of 2009 in the police department.  First on his list – the construction of the firearms training range.  Folden, who also serves as Range Master, said the range has already been used by several other agencies such as Cimarron Correctional Facility as well as members of the community. 

“We are open one day a month to the public,” Folden said.  “Once the weather gets nicer we may open it a couple of times a month.”  He also said citizens interested in going to the shooting range should call ahead for scheduling.

Second on his list was the addition of the criminal investigation system headed up by Detective Adam Harp.  “We hadn’t had that in quite a while,” Folden said.  “Detective Harp is doing a tremendous job.  He is a real asset to the department.” 

Folden also expressed appreciation for the five new patrol cars purchased by the City, saying they were a real benefit to the department and the overall cost is being offset by the lack of needed repairs and better gas mileage.  He also said they have proven to be a real morale boost to their patrol officers.  “There’s that new car pride,” he said with a smile.  Chief Brannon interjected that along with getting better gas mileage than the previous cars, they can use alternative fuel.

Another highlight – the Nixle report.  Nixle provides quick information to subscribers via cell phone or email.  Interested parties may go to to become a subscriber.  Information is provided by Chief Brannon or Folden and can range from a suspect search to weather advisories.

On the forefront, Folden said they are preparing to put together a budget for 2010-2011.  “Chief Brannon launched a managing law enforcement initiative today,” he continued.  Staff members are asked to identify problem areas and figure out ways to reduce costs in those areas.  It gives officers a voice in budgeting.”  They are also encouraged to think of ways to receive funding – such as grants – for equipment or services they think might be beneficial.

Folden, prior to his recent promotion to Deputy Chief, was the K-9 handler.  Since then, the dog was merged with its new handler.  Coming as no surprise to Folden, the merging didn’t work.  Consequently a new dog has been selected and will be coming to the department once training is completed.  The cost?  Zero.  The Cushing K-9 was traded back to World Wide K-9 and they are furnishing the new dog at no cost.  “We’re getting another German Shepherd – he doesn’t speak a bit of English,” Folden chuckled.  The K-9 will be trained in narcotics and tracking.

Folden concluded with a word of caution regarding the upcoming winter storm, “Be safe.  And check on the elderly.”