MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

October 15, 2013

Two on police force become deputy chiefs

By Thad Ayers
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Two Muskogee police majors have been promoted as part of the department’s restructuring, Police Chief Rex Eskridge said.

Chad Farmer and Reggie Cotton were recently promoted to the rank of deputy chief. They join Deputy Chief Johnny Teehee, which streamlines the department’s command structure, Eskridge said.

“What we’ve done is we’ve centralized into those three areas — patrol, investigations and headquarters,” he said. “We’ve reduced the number of lesser promotions and created these positions so that we have more centralized control ... It’s focused in those areas and funnels through those three chiefs.”

The City Council recognized this change during Monday’s meeting, but the promotions came about a month ago, Eskridge said.

Farmer oversees investigations, Cotton manages patrols and Teehee takes care of administration, Eskridge said. This change also allowed recent raises for all police officers because an extra position was eliminated.

“We were able to spread raises throughout the department by spreading through the lesser ranks,” Eskridge said. “When we did away with those lesser ranks, we took the money and put it to pay grades throughout the department.”

Plans to change ranks at MPD started about a year ago, Eskridge said.

Changing the structure adds efficiency at lower ranks, but Farmer said he doesn’t expect it to have much impact with the public.

“It streamlined our internal process so there’s clearer communication between the chief and the three divisions,” said Farmer, who has been with MPD for 18 years.

Cotton, who has about 23 years of law enforcement experience, said he is ready for his new role.

“I’m excited about the position and ready to serve the city of Muskogee to the best of my ability,” he said.

Reach Thad Ayers at (918) 684-2903 or tayers@muskogeephoenix.com.