There is an undeniable sense of security and safety when you walk around Stillwater, Okla. It’s something that one can easily take for granted. The Stillwater Police Department has successfully made living within their city limits a safe and welcoming place. Everyday these men and women go to work with the welfare of others as their main concern.
When first meeting with Capt. Randy Dickerson of Stillwater Police, one can’t help but feel slightly intimated because he has an imposing presence, full of confidence. However, he was generous and personable, making conversation easy. The pride and commitment to his job and community was apparent.
The Stillwater Police Department is composed of 78 sworn officers and 42 civilians, with their own SWAT and bike team. The process of becoming a Stillwater Police Officer is a rigorous one. First, one must complete and qualify through the application process. The next step is to pass a written test with a minimum of 70 percent. If the candidate succeeds, he or she will continue to the physical agility exam. The remaining candidates will then go through an oral board and those who qualify will continue to the background check, polygraph and physical. The process continues with a MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory).
Once the candidate passes all these steps, he or she receives a conditional offer of employment in which the training begins. They are then sent to a 10-week academy. Once completed, they spend time training in the field under the supervision of another officer. Then, they are officially a Stillwater Police Officer but, they must complete their 18-month probationary period.
Dickerson says one of the most common mistakes those who hope to be police officers make is what they post on social media.
“People will be looking at your social media, keep in mind it is public information,” Dickerson says.
Dickerson has 27 years with the Stillwater Police Department. Although he misses the fieldwork, he enjoys being a Captain. He says he did his time in the field and it was time for him to move up. Dickerson says his favorite part of the job was working on crimes, because it gave him the chance to really help and give justice to the person the crime was against and their family.
With the recent 9/11 anniversary, Dickerson says that it always affects you whether in a personal or professional way. 9/11 is not something the country will soon forget, nor put behind us. It is the same character makeup that creates the public service throughout the country. Whether they were victims in the World Trade Centers collapse, those protecting us here in Stillwater and those in towns across the USA.
So the next time you walk to your car without out worrying about your safety or go running without looking over your shoulder, think about the Police Officers of Stillwater and their employees such as Capt. Dickerson who make it their duty to keep you safe. They don’t do it for any other reason than to keep their community safe and they just look at risking their lives for us as part of the job.