Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Sallisaw Native, Michael Harrell, Named OHP Chief


Colonel Michael S. Harrell, originally from Sallisaw, assumed duties as the 27th Chief of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) on Dec. 1.

The promotion ceremony was held at 2 p.m. Monday at the Robert R. Lester Training Center in Oklahoma City.

Prior to this assignment, Harrell served on the command staff of the (OHP) as a Zone Commander for the past four years. He spent the final three of those as the liaison for the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. Colonel Harrell began his professional career in law enforcement in 1989 with the Fort Smith Police Department. He then served as a social worker for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services in Tulsa from 1992 until January of 1995 with his acceptance into the 48th Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy.

After graduation from the 48th Academy, his original assignment took him to Troop K (Osage County) with an initial residence in Skiatook. He later transferred to Troop B (Tulsa County) in September of 1997 until his first promotion to Lieutenant in 2003 moved him to Troop J (Enid). There would be a subsequent stop in Troop C (Muskogee) before being promoted to Captain in 2006. Colonel Harrell held this rank for over 7 years with stops on the Creek/Muskogee Turnpikes, as well as Troop B (Tulsa) and Troop C (Muskogee). He was promoted to the rank of Major in the fall of 2013, a position he held until December of 2017. 

Harrell said he is very proud to have been a 1985 graduate of Sallisaw High School in Sequoyah County. After receiving his associate degree from Connors State College in Warner, he graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. Colonel Harrell is also a distinguished graduate of the 263rd Session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

“I am equally humbled and excited by the opportunity bestowed upon me by the Commissioner,” Harrell said. “I look forward to promoting his vision for the Department of Public Safety and continuing our long history of serving the citizens of the great State of Oklahoma.”

Harrell replaces Oklahoma Highway Patrol Chief Ricky Adams who retired Friday.


Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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