Trooper of the Year awards

Today two Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers received the Trooper of the Year award for heroism and humanitarianism at the Oklahoma Highway Users Federation 36th annual Highway Safety Recognition Luncheon in Oklahoma City.

Trooper Michael Swope and Dale Beaty were recognized for their dedication and professionalism as members of the OHP.

On August 9, 2004, members of the Metro Fugitive Tash Force, assigned out of the Western District, US Marshall office, attempted to arrest Gaylon Boyd on an outstanding arrest warrant for murder, issued by the District Court of Oklahoma County. Team surveillance had developed information placing the suspect Boyd as a passenger in a motor vehicle on an Oklahoma City street. The Task Force stopped the suspect vehicle and approached the occupants. Task Force members making this approach were Highway Patrol Trooper Mike Swope, Oklahoma County Sheriff's Lieutenant Scott Cannon and Department of Corrections Officer Larry Bennett. They issued a command to the vehicle occupants to show their hands, but suspect Boyd refused.

Suspect Boyd continued to ignore the task force members repeated commands to show them his hands, leaning forward in the front passenger side of the vehicle concealing his hands. As Trooper Swope and Lt. Cannon approached the vehicle and opened the passenger door, Boyd spun in the seat and pointed a firearm directly at Lt. Cannon. As Boyd pointed the firearm, Officer Bennett, Lt. Cannon and Trooper Swope each discharged their weapons which resulted in Boyd being killed. As a result of Trooper Swope's immediate action Lt. Cannon's life was saved and a dangerous situation was averted..

He was presented the Trooper of the Year award for heroism.

Trooper Dale Beaty has saved numerous lives during his 38 years with the Highway Patrol, not just by his dedication to his job and the contacts made during his "on duty" time, but also by his many hours of community involvement. Young and old know him as a very kind and giving individual.

Trooper Beaty believes in the Highway Patrol mission statement "Working to provide a safe and secure environment for the public through courteous, quality and professional services." He has taught: what to do if you find a firearm, what to do if you find prescription or other drugs on the side of the road, what to do if you have a mechanical break down or flat tire on the road, or just to follow instructions. He has shared his knowledge in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges and civic clubs. He has been an active participant for many years with the OHP Cadet Lawman program held in Burns Flat`.

Through his ability to instruct he has spread his years of expertise in law enforcement drivers training to officers from Oklahoma and across the nation. Trooper Beaty continues to give of himself in order to provide not only citizens but the law enforcement community, a safer community.

He was presented the Trooper of the Year award for humanitarianism.

DPS officials also presented three Jerry Marx Memorial Awards to print, broadcast and television media for excellence in highway and traffic safety reporting.

Oklahoma City television station KOCO was nominated for their interest and involvement in the Highway Patrol "Shoot - Don't Shoot" scenario and for their quick response in reporting safety issues in and around the Oklahoma City metro area.

KRMG radio in Tulsa received the award for their willing and enthusiastic support of traffic safety projects in their area. They did a live broadcast from our Troop B headquarters in Tulsa regarding safety belt usage and other traffic safety issues.

For the print category, The Shawnee News-Star was presented the award for their numerous stories supporting our traffic safety, especially with Operation C.A.R.E., (combined accident reduction effort) and accurate information on collision related stories.