Multiple Officers Resign from Nowata Police Department

KTUL-News 8 - September 7, 2022 10:16 am

Nowata County Jail

“You have to do a report when you arrest somebody, you have to,” said Elliot Harris, who used to be an officer with the Nowata Police Department along with Zeth Hedges.

“I’m Sgt. Zeth Hedges, well, I was Sgt. Zeth Hedges with the Nowata Police Department,” he said.

Both of them turned in their resignations Tuesday following an ongoing unease with how the department was being managed, with the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“There was an arrest that was made by our captain,” said Harris.

“Public intoxication, methamphetamine,” said Hedges.

“The chief of police actually had told him not to do the report for the arrest because his plan was to go ahead and have the charges dismissed so the report was not needed,” said Harris.

Why is this big enough to resign over?

“If you’re telling officers not to do, document the 4th Amendment violation, there’s no telling what else there could be and that just, that’s wrong,” said Hedges.

Both the chief and the city manager declined to comment on any specifics, but told us: “This event has been unfortunate but this turnover does not affect the safety that this department has always provided to its citizens.”

As for reaction from citizens?

“I don’t blame them, I feel like they’re in the right for wanting to leave,” said Spencer Tabor.

He says he’s glad the officers are standing up for what they believe and that he’d like to see some sort of investigation into the matter.

“If charges are getting dropped for things, well what happens when it’s a serious crime?” he said.

Do you think the chief should resign?

“I don’t think that’s up to me,” said Harris.

Scandal at NPD, with others in the law enforcement community already taking notice of the lengths taken to stand by their principles.

“I’ve had phone calls all day, asking me, come apply,” said Hedges.


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