By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – A 57-year law enforcement veteran – who officially retired 18 months ago – is now officially able to keep his Canadian County sheriff’s firearm and badge.
Canadian County Commissioners made it official at their July 10th meeting, voting 3-0 to allow Lt. Mike Grimes to retain these county-issued items.
“This is for Mike Grimes,” Canadian County Undersheriff Kevin Ward told commissioners. “He retired about a year and a half ago, and when we were going through our inventory, we noticed we hadn’t done this step to finalize the retention of the pistol and the badge.”
First-year District 1 County Commissioner Tom Manske asked if this was “common practice” for retired deputies.
“Yes, the (Oklahoma) Legislative created a mechanism for municipal, county and state law enforcement – if they retire honorably – they can keep the gun they were carrying at the time of retirement and their badge,” Ward replied.
District 3 County Commissioner Tracey Rider likened a deputy’s weapon to a cowboy’s horse, saying it “becomes a part of who they are.”
Grimes began his law enforcement career in 1964 as a reserve police officer at the Yukon Police Department and reserve deputy sheriff for the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO).
In 1969, Grimes began working full-time in law enforcement as a deputy with the CCSO – where he also was a criminal field deputy.
In 1973, he was hired by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol where he worked for 33 years – rising to the rank of OHP deputy chief before retiring (for the first time) in 2006.
The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture immediately sought him out and recruited him to serve as the chief of their criminal investigations’ unit. He worked in that role until retiring for the second time in 2013.
Lt. Grimes always desired to end his career where he started – at the CCSO. So, after leaving the Department of Agriculture, he happily accepted an offer from the sheriff’s office to serve as a criminal investigator.
Over eight years, he also established the aviation unit and managed the federal grant programs until his third retirement on Dec. 21, 2021.
Grimes has continued working for the sheriff’s office in a part-time, non-law enforcement capacity handling special projects and managing the aviation unit.
Grimes coordinated the CCSO’s law enforcement memorial monument project, which was dedicated in a May 22nd ceremony outside the Canadian County Courthouse.
THIS AND THAT …
Among other business at their weekly meeting June 10, Canadian County Commissioners approved:
- A list of general office practices for the Canadian County Commissioners’ Office.
- Annual contracts with Beckham, Bryan and Custer counties to utilize detention bed space at the Canadian County Children’s Justice Center.
- Designation of Tammy Howeth as requisitioning officer and Ashley Bates as receiving officer for the Canadian County Clerk’s Office.
- Six floodplain permits – for placement of a mobile home in District 1, burial of a new produced water pipeline and new natural gas pipeline in District 2; and placement of a valve site and burial of a new produced water pipeline and new natural gas pipeline in District 3.
Undersheriff Ward presented the weekly county jail report showing an inmate population totaling 207, with 184 prisoners at the El Reno detention center and 23 others housed in contracted counties.
The total count is down two from last week as 47 prisoners await transfer to state Department of Corrections’ custody.