MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

May 7, 2013

Tahlequah's new police chief starts work

He's sworn in with other town officials

By Dylan Goforth
Phoenix Staff Writer

— TAHLEQUAH — Saying he was ready for the challenges ahead, Tahlequah’s new police chief was sworn in Monday.

Nate King was elected in April, replacing Clay Mahaney, who had been the police chief since 2009.

King was sworn in along with:

• Ward I councilor Diane Weston.

• Ward II councilor Charles Carroll.

• Street Commissioner Mike Corn.

• City Clerk Deb Corn.

“We’re focusing on serving our city,” King said.

Changes — although nothing too extreme — will be on the way, King said.

“There will be a redistribution of manpower in the near future,” he said. “But that’s a ways away.”

King’s first official day as the chief was packed with meetings and included a mandatory officers’ meeting at noon as well as the city council meeting Monday evening.

“We’re going to be talking about our vision for the department,” he said.

King campaigned on maintaining a sustainable vision and direction for the department as well as improving officer morale.

King said the department had vacancies for one lieutenant, one dispatcher and one clerk. The lieutenant position must be filled from within.

“I’ve been working with the (Fraternal Order of Police) on updated promotion procedures,” King said. “One of my first steps is being accountable myself. It’s for me to follow a set of rules.”

Numerous members of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office as well as the District 27 District Attorney’s Office attended the ceremony.

“The law enforcement community was well-represented here today,” King said.

“I look forward to serving Tahlequah,” he said. “And hopefully in four years, they’ll think I did a good job.”

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth@muskogeephoenix.com.