Healdton police chief cites accomplishments
HEALDTON, Okla. (KTEN) — Gus Handke took over as chief of the Healdton Police Department last June.
Since then, his department is averaging around 20 arrests per month, and has a list of felony cases ranging from drug-related crimes to child sex crimes.
"We take that extremely seriously and will go after those people," Handke said.
Healdton police have filed four felony cases for soliciting sexual conduct with a minor by technology in the months since Handke became chief.
"Our belief is if we're being proactive in that area, we're preventing some children from being kidnapped or abducted," he said.
Seventeen felony drug cases have also been filed in district court during the same time frame.
"There have been a number of people we have arrested related to misdemeanor crimes with methamphetamine and felony crimes, possession with intent distribution, trafficking," Handke said.
Healdton police have also taken a proactive approach to the synthetic opioid fentanyl.
"We've had some — unfortunately — some overdose issues, and I think that moving forward is going to be something that's on the forefront for everybody," Handke said.
When Chief Handke started, officers' hourly pay increased 30 percent, from $15 to $19.50.
"We are competitive at this point now," he said. "There were some people in City Council at the time when I came back that were smart enough to understand that we're going to have to be competitive to have top quality people working here."