The Norman Police Department is officially 100 years old, as of today.

The department decided to celebrate year-round in various ways, mostly incorporating current and retired officers and their families.

One public celebration was included during May's police memorial service at Legacy Park, but more could be planned in the future, according to Norman police officers.

Capt. Jamie Shattuck, Capt. Brent Barbour and Sgt. Tim Smith said the department is working on a yearbook, set to be released early next year for officers, retirees and their families. It will include information about the department's 251 employees, history and anniversary celebrations. Of the 251 employees, 180 are commissioned officers

The department placed decals on their vehicles commemorating the anniversary, and a T-shirt are for sale by current and past officers and their families, as well as Citizens Police Academy Alumni of Norman members.

In addition, officers and NPD retirees can purchase special badges and commemorative Smith and Wesson revolvers that resemble one carried by the first assistant chief, Bud Mayes, who served as town marshal before the city was incorporated, Smith said.

NPD Public Information Officer Sarah Jensern is in charge of the department's centennial committee, which has 10 members, including civilian employees.

Shattuck said the department's badges were redesigned several years ago -- inspired by past badges -- to note NPD's history.

Shattuck said technology is the biggest difference from 100 years ago to today. In 1919, he said the department only had one car with no heat that was in used 24 hours a day. Now, the department has many more and a greater variety of vehicles, as well as computers and portable radios.

He said the department's mission has been constantly changing since its founding because NPD has to keep up with the times to be effective.

"People have much higher expectations today. It's far more than just law enforcement," Shattuck said about NPD.

He said the department has had many interesting and entertaining moments.

"It's a front row seat the greatest show on earth," Shattuck said.

He said he has been a Norman resident and has seen amazing growth over the 24 years he has been at the department, and he is impressed with the amount of diversity he has seen.

He noted that the NPD has a rich tradiiton of leadership, and officers who started there have gone on to higher leadership positions at other agencies.

He cited the Gustav Mahler quote, "Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire."

"That's the way I look at the Norman Police Department," Shattuck said.

Recommended for you