Ardmore police kept busy this week, but not by crime

Sierra Rains
The Daily Ardmoreite
Ardmore police walk back to their vehicle after helping a stranded motorist Monday, Feb. 15, 2021.

Ardmore police spent several hours helping stranded motorists and working to keep the public safe amid slick driving conditions and freezing temperatures this week. 

Between Feb. 14 and Feb. 19, the department responded to five motor vehicle accidents and 50 motorist assists. Of the accidents officers responded to, no injuries were reported, said Ardmore Police Department Capt. Claude Henry. 

The department expected to see a rise in these types of calls with many warnings of winter weather prior to the first snowfall on Sunday, but the actual number was a bit higher than anticipated. 

“For us to take 50 motorists assists calls is obviously pretty high from what we’re normally use to, but with the weather conditions we knew that was going to go up,” Henry said. “I would say 50 is on the higher end of what I expected.”

While officers stayed busy helping those on the roads, the cold temperatures seemed to deter many from committing crimes during the week. Henry said the APD patrol division took approximately 28 reports, only 10 of which were considered priority calls where the calls required a police presence. 

“Typically for that time period that’s pretty low for us,” Henry said. “So it was definitely quieter during that time than normal.”

The crimes reported consisted mainly of minor thefts, shoplifting and minor assaults. Non-priority calls were addressed over the phone. “Most of our non-priority reports were limited to phone contacts so the officers didn’t have to drive much on the residential streets,” Henry said. 

During his time at the department, Henry said he has seen a couple of snow storms before, but not anything quite like this. “I think the amount of snow that we received in such a short amount of time is the first time I’ve seen weather like this here at the police department,” Henry said. 

However, the department had a plan in place well before snow hit the area. Arrangements were made so that officers had a place to get rest if needed, and Henry said manpower remained strong throughout the storm. 

“It’s not easy being a police officer during those times,” Henry said. “You sometimes get stuck doing work that normal police duties don’t call for and you’re having to do those in freezing temperatures or subfreezing temperatures, so our hats go off to the officers and the efforts that they displayed during this whole time.” 

Henry also commended the public for their role in limiting the number of crashes or major incidents. For the most part, Henry said individuals tended to heed warnings and stay off the roads. 

“The citizens that took the responsibility of not traveling if they didn’t have to travel helped in that regard,” Henry said. “But it was a busy time for the officers just making themselves available to citizens who either needed help or were in need.” 

Many officers were thanked for small acts of service during the storm. In a Feb. 18 social media post, one woman thanked the department for helping keep her mother.

In the post, the woman stated that her mother was having trouble traveling down the roads and an officer helped follow her to make sure she got where she was going safely. 

“It’s important that the officers are out there to maintain public safety,” Henry said. “I think that our patrol officers remained resilient through this time. I think they’ve done a great job and their efforts are certainly applauded by our administration and the city of Ardmore.”