Safety and Security Director Ike Sloas resigned at the end of September after six years of serving in his position.
Sloas said he has taken on a new position as security director for Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.
He said his family played a large part in his decision to leave OCCC.
“I grew up in Tennessee,” Sloas said.
“My family and my wife’s family still live there, within an hour of downtown.
“When we visited them on weekends before, it was seven hours of driving, one exhausted day with them, and seven hours of more driving.”
Now, Sloas said, he looks forward to spend-ing more time with his parents and in-laws.
“All we have to do is drive an hour and we can go to church together on Sundays,” he said.
When he came to OCCC in 2005, Sloas said, campus crime was rising at an alarming rate.
“We had many more burglaries, vehicle thefts and even cases of assault (than we do now,)” he said.
Since then, Sloas said, crime at OCCC has continued to decline over the years, including a record low for 2008.
John Boyd, vice president of business and finance, said as a result of Sloas’s leadership, the statistics in terms of automobile thefts, car break-ins, and assaults show few incidents.
Boyd said surveillance camera security is something that was developed and implemented by Sloas.
“The college is indebted to Ike for the service that he provided in the time he has been here,” Boyd said.
“Our overall crimes or altercations on the campus really are very minimal and I think it is in large part attributable to the fact that we have a security camera just about everywhere,” Boyd said.
Sloas said crime statistics for 2009, due out sometime next week, are even better.
“We have made great progress,” Sloas said.
“I believe there is a direct relation between our decreased crime numbers and the work my staff has done.”
He said he feels very comfortable leaving the safety of OCCC in the hands of his staff.
“During this year’s arts festival, we had a tent collapse,” Sloas said.
“I was in Memphis at the time, but when I received word of the accident, I didn’t panic because I knew my staff was trained and capable of managing anything.”
After the accident, which hospitalized three festival patrons and injured several more, Sloas said he received e-mails from Oklahoma City police and fire departments commending the quick actions of OCCC security officers.
“I am very satisfied with our emergency response,” Sloas said.
“The atmosphere here (at OCCC) has never been better. I know I’m leaving the department and college safer.”
Besides OCCC and Rhodes College, Sloas said, he has worked on several other college campuses over the years, including Arkansas State University and Albany State University in Georgia.
Sloas began his policing career in 1991 as a sheriff’s deputy in Arkansas.
“I like the atmosphere,” he said. “With college police work, you can really see the impact.
“You get close to the students and staff and you can see firsthand what your efforts have done.”