The Muskogee Police Department is announcing the retirement of our Chief of Police Rex Eskridge on July 13th, 2018 after 49 years of service to the Muskogee Police Department.
Chief Eskridge began his career at the Muskogee Police Department in January 1969 and attended the Tulsa Police Academy that year. Chief Eskridge credits Clinton Riggs, Tulsa Police Department, as a big influence on him throughout his law enforcement career and countles...s other officers over the years.
Chief Eskridge rose through the ranks of the police department, first being promoted to Sergeant in 1972, Lieutenant in 1974, and again to Major in 1984. He was selected to become the chief of police in 1992. While working to advance his career at the Muskogee Police Department by attending all of his required training, and any additional training that he could attend, Chief Eskridge enrolled in college. In 1982 he graduated NSU with a Bachelor's degree in criminal Justice.
Chief Eskridge also served in the United States Marine Corps reserves for 5 years, being honorably discharged in 1970.
Throughout his career, he has dedicated himself to improving the image of the Muskogee Police Department, and the City of Muskogee itself. He believes that a strong foundation for our agency begins with the officers, and as he leaves, he says that his officers are what he is most proud of.
''Our officers today actively seek knowledge, training, better ways to make our community safe," said Eskridge. ''I'm proud of how our current officers are progressive and active in our community. We've seen a drastic drop in violent crime and homicides compared to when I became Chief the early 1990s."
Muskogee Police Department has grown it's capabilities tremendously over Eskridge's tenure as Chief.
''We were one of the first communities of any size with body cameras," said Eskridge. ''Some of our methods are now taught by Force Science Institute on agency response to officer involved shootings. We've been on the forefront of in-car computer systems and we 're now moving into electronic forensics."
Chief Eskridge has built relationships throughout the community, including with state and federal agencies. He has placed an emphasis on updated facilities and equipment, including the recent deployment of 30 new police cars and vast improvements of the Muskogee Police Department firing range.
In closing, we wish Chief Eskridge the best in his retirement. His long record of service is a credit to his character and his commitment to our community. As he transitions towards retirement, Chief Eskridge can remain confident that his leadership through the years, has positively impacted many an officer under his command. His legacy can be seen through the professionalism, advanced training and modern tactics that all officers now employ, making our citizens and officers safer than they have ever been.