This spring was tough on everyone as the world battled the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions, but for Oklahoma City Police officers and staff, rising to the challenge was part of the job they do every day. That being said, honoring each officer who went beyond is impossible, but here are just a few who made a difference in their community.
TAYLOR WOOD - Police Program Technician in the FACT Unit of Police Community Relations
Taylor is a civilian city employee who works as a Police Program Technician in the FACT Unit of Police Community Relations. She is active in all the outreach programs and acts as a mentor to all the youth served by FACT. Her compassion, skills at organizing, recruiting volunteers, fundraising, networking with businesses and contacts for FACT to partner with, and her interactions with the youth in teaching them character traits and life skills have always been recognized and highly successful. However, during the Corona Virus Pandemic, her innovative ideas, and creative ways to still reach out to and serve the FACT kids were truly exceptional, above and beyond and outside the box.
This year's Youth Leadership Class #3 was two months away from graduating and the students were about a month away from giving their presentations, in person, to several business partners. Then the pandemic hit, and all meetings, activities and gatherings of people were canceled, which affected all the FACT youth programs. Instead of just letting all the students' hard work go to waste and not having the satisfaction of seeing this project through, Taylor brainstormed and helped come up with the idea for the students to do the presentations by video.
MSgt KIM HOLMES - APRN/Paramedic for the Medical Monitoring Unit
MSgt Kim Holmes is a Police Master Sergeant and an Advance Practice Registered Nurse and National Registered Paramedic assigned to the OKC MACC Medical Monitoring Unit. Kim has worked tirelessly to consistently apply the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for handling employees suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 as well as those who may have been exposed to the virus.
Her efforts have contributed to a low rate of disease transmission amongst the workforce. Only four city employees have tested positive for COVID-19. She has educated supervisors and employees about the virus and how to limit its spread thereby reducing anxiety. She follows up with employees placed in isolation to ensure their physical and mental health.
Sgt. BOB SKALLA & MISTY THOMAS - Hefner Police Community Relations Officer and Hefner Administrative Specialist
The men and women of the Hefner Division saw how citizens were losing their jobs, and some were worried about how they were going to feed their families. The community has always been good to the Hefner division and the officers wanted to pay it forward. Sgt. Bob Skalla, the Hefner Police Community Relations Officer, and Misty Thomas, the Hefner Administrative specialist, spearheaded a food drive/money collection. Misty and Bob used the money collected to purchase food from local grocery stores.
They combined the purchased food with the food donated by officers to create “gift bags” of meals for families in need. Each bag contained enough food for a weeks’ worth of meals.