The History of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol
Tradition, honor, pride, dedication and professionalism. These qualities are instilled in every member of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol from the first day they report to the academy as cadets. The 125 troopers that graduated the first academy in 1937 began a tradition that has continued to thread its way through the organization’s history. A tradition that distinguishes the state law enforcement agency from all others. The tradition begins with a military-style academy that instills professional qualities in all troopers that stay with them throughout their careers.
In 1937, the new state troopers met resistance from Oklahoma motorists who were not used to living within the bounds of traffic regulations when none had ever before existed. But the troopers were prepared for this as they paved the way for all future officers by exerting good manners and service to all citizens. A total of 288,277 warnings compared with only 5,518 arrests and citations were written in the first nine monthsof patrol. Even today, motorists will declare that troopers are well-mannered, friendly and hospitable while maintaining an unrivaled level of professionalism.
With almost 800 troopers statewide, the division has grown into several areas of special services including Public Information, Capitol Patrol, Lake Patrol, Training, Bomb Squad, Motorcycle, Tactical Teams, Special Operations, Aircraft, Audits and Fraudulent Driver License. The department revived "The Flying Squadron", a motorcycle division that utilizes Harley Davidson motorcycles. A bomb squad was organized who operate state-of-the-art equipment unparalleled in Oklahoma including two bomb trucks and robots. The east and west tactical teams continue to send their troopers through specialized training programs that elevate them to the best in the state. Special Operations, formerly Criminal Interdiction, now has troopers who each have a well-trained drug canine.
The agency has stepped in the 21st century with top-rate troopers and equipment, considered first-rate by many throughout the nation.