© 2024 KOSU
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Oklahoma City Police Chief announces retirement

A photo of OKC Police Chief Wade Gourley shared by Mayor David Holt on social media.
Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt
A photo of OKC Police Chief Wade Gourley (lfet) shared by Mayor David Holt on social media.

Chief Wade Gourley has led OKC Police since July 2019. He will stay on until his replacement is hired.

He is retiring after 34 years with the department.

“Working alongside the dedicated men and women of this Police Department and serving this great community for over 34 years has been an incredible honor,” Gourley said in a statement. “After my departure, I know the Police Department will continue to honor our core values by serving this City with integrity, compassion, accountability, respect and equity.”

Under his watch, a total of six Oklahoma City police officers were charged — but never convicted for — high-profile shootings. Those include the 2021 death of 15-year-old Stavian Rodriguez and 2020 death of 60-year-old Bennie Edwards.

When the charges were dropped, Gourley said his department has learned from the incidents. The department has been trained in de-escalation strategies, equipped with less-lethal equipment and crisis intervention.

“We are committed to continual improvement to ensure the people of Oklahoma City receive the professional and compassionate service everyone deserves,” he said in a written statement.

A news release from the city touted Gourley's efforts to change the way the police respond to mental health calls and the expansion of body-worn camera usage.

He led the department through the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests following the killing of George Floyd by police in Minnesota.

Mayor David Holt praised Gourley for his work and response to issues on X (formerly Twitter).

In 2022, Oklahoma City Council received an 85-page report that had 39 recommendations for police related to de-escalation, community engagement and accountability.

Gourley was involved throughout.

“Chief Gourley didn’t obstruct, and was in fact an active participant,” Holt wrote. Then when the report came out with recommendations, “Chief Gourley publicly stated that they were reasonable. This was a critical leadership moment and I don’t take it for granted.”

* indicates required

Robby Korth joined KOSU as its news director in November 2022.
KOSU is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.
Related Content