Sallisaw Police Sgt. Ronnie Davis, right, is congratulated by Police Chief Terry Franklin at Davis' retirement Tuesday. Davis served the Sallisaw Police Department for 25 years and for four police chiefs, from Wayne Craghead to Franklin. As part of his reward, Davis was presented with his badge and service pistol at the reception.
Davis, age 52, said, with a chuckle, "There's an old joke. It says if you are dealing with the grandkids of people you know, then you have been on the job too long."
Davis actually spent nearly 26 years as a law enforcement officer. He was an officer at Quinton and spent almost another year as an officer for an Arkansas town. He has had an eventful career.
"For me, what I enjoyed most, was when I was a certified CLEET instructor," Davis said.
CLEET stands for Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, and is the educational arm of law enforcement.
Davis said he was certified to instruct the use of pistols, revolvers, shotguns and rifles. The only firearm he did not instruct was long rifles. He estimates he trained between 500 and 550 in how to use a firearm and taught another 60 how to use a Taser. About 90 percent of those Davis taught were other law enforcement officers. In fact he still does instruct. Davis instructs armed and unarmed security at Indian Capital Technology Center in Sallisaw and has a class going on at the present time. Many of those he instructs now are employed at casinos.
Davis took his ability with firearms even further. He competed in pistols for four to five years.
"I held my own," he said modestly about his competitions, held in Jackson, Miss., and Albuquerque, N.M. "I brought back a few trophies and awards."
That's not all he did for his community. Davis served as a canine officer for Sallisaw for about five years; he was one of the original members of the Sallisaw Police Special Response Team; was a School Resource Officer for four years; started the Neighborhood Watch program in Sallisaw; and was one of the founding members of the Sallisaw Fraternal Order of Police.
"I tried to stay busy," Davis said. "I tried to stay needed."
Now that he is retired, Davis said he plans to take about three months off. He said he may consider another career after the first of the year.
"I really enjoy instructing," he said, "but right now I haven't put a lot of thought into it (a new career)."
Davis and his wife, Sandy, have been married 28 years and he has two step-children, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, including the one he and Sandy are awaiting the birth of at any moment.
Davis said law enforcement is a family tradition. His grandfather was deputy in Pittsburg County, in and around McAlester, and he has cousins, nephews and nieces in law enforcement in all areas, from the county to the state to the federal level.
"At any one time we had 12 to 13 family members in law enforcement," Davis said. His own grandchildren have also shown an interest in law enforcement and may continue the family tradition.
But for now, Davis is retired, although he said there is one important element he said he will miss about those 25 years as a Sallisaw police officer.
"I know what I am going to miss most," he said, "the camaraderie and relationships with fellow officers. I enjoyed all of it, and the guys and gals I worked with. It's a unique brotherhood, a shared interest in helping our community."
Just as Davis misses his friends and comrades, it is most certain our community will miss Davis.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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