By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
EL RENO – Oklahoma state legislators on Monday honored a Canadian County sheriff’s investigator who died in the line of duty.
A proclamation was presented at the weekly Canadian County Commissioners’ meeting to recognize the dedication and service of Lt. Shirley Lanning, who was killed in a Feb. 14 traffic collision on Northwest Expressway near Sara Road.
“Shirley was loved by all of us,” Canadian County Sheriff Chris West said before the official citation was read aloud. “She had a lot of spunk in her and she was quite the character. She was very dedicated to working for the county.
“She was very serious about her job and I didn’t know anybody who ever really had anything bad to say about her. She was a pure joy. I knew her for about 30 years.”
West first met Lanning while he worked at the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and she worked in the jail for the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.
“We were thrilled to have her,” said West, who is finishing his first term as Canadian County sheriff. “It was a tremendous loss. Our hearts are still breaking, and our condolences go out to David.”
While with the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office, Lanning served in the investigations’ division.
TIRELESS PUBLIC SERVICE CITED
Sheriff West was contacted several months ago by District 45 State Sen. Paul Rosino, who shared interest in having state legislators prepare a proclamation to honor Lanning’s memory.
Sen. Rosino, R-Oklahoma City, had a scheduling conflict and was unable to attend Monday morning’s meeting.
So, the lawmakers who presented the proclamation were District 41 State Rep. Denise Crosswhite Hader (R-Surrey Hills) and District 47 State Rep. Brian Hill (R-Mustang). All state legislators who represent Canadian County signed the document.
Rep. Hill read the citation, which he and Hader gave to Shirley Lanning’s widower, David Lanning.
“Lt. Lanning unselfishly devoted over 30 years to her law enforcement career and enriched the Canadian County community for the last six years by her tireless public service,” Hill said.
The Oklahoma State Legislature honored Lanning’s memory “for a life of outstanding service,” according to the proclamation.
Sheriff West thanked legislators for attending Monday’s meeting and supporting the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office. He also credited David Lanning, a retired U.S. Air Force veteran, for his service.
Monday’s presentation ended with the audience giving Lanning a standing ovation.