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Oldest Retired OHP Trooper Dies
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Tulsa World, 4/2/09

Oldest retired OHP trooper dies at 98

HUGO — Charles Edgar "Ed" Vandergriff II, the oldest retired Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper, died Monday in Hugo at 98.

A funeral service is set for 2 p.m. Friday at the Mount Olive Funeral Home.

"Ed will definitely be missed, as he represented a rich and long-standing tradition that our troopers continue to emulate today," Col. Van M. Guillotte, the patrol's chief, said in an e-mailed statement.

A World War II veteran, Vandergriff moved to Oklahoma from Texas at age 4. He retired from the Highway Patrol as a captain in 1960.

The state Legislature honored Vandergriff for his service at ceremonies in May and in February 2000.

Vandergriff was working as a teacher when he learned of the patrol's inception, and he graduated from its first state trooper class in 1937.

In the early days of the patrol, Vandergriff said people didn't know what to expect when troopers pulled them over on a state highway because there had not previously been anyone to enforce traffic laws.

He said some confrontations turned physical, including one in which Vandergriff wrested a knife away from a man who appeared primed to attack his fellow trooper, Cecil Snapp.

"He was going to cut Snapp down," Vandergriff told The Oklahoman last year as he pointed out a scar on his hand from the incident in the early 1940s. "And he would have me, too, but I held onto that knife."


On the Trail
Diron Ahlquist
Secretary, Oklahombres Inc.
 
Posts: 376 | Location: Oklahoma City, OK | Registered: Wed December 10 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The above story is a prime example of why our organization is so important. Yes, we research, document, and write about the past, but I know that many of us out there (myself included) know a fair amount of law enforcement officers (both current and retired). We need to look forward 100 years and ponder what our decendants will find of interest. The Old West....yes. The Depression Era...yes. And I would dare say that in 100 years people are going to want first-hand accounts of what was going on in the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s.

The reason I write this is to emphasize how important it is for each of us to document our own law enforcement related experiences. Further I would encourage anyone with access to law enforcement officers (active or retired) to interview them and let's get their stories on record to be preserved for future generations.


On the Trail
Diron Ahlquist
Secretary, Oklahombres Inc.
 
Posts: 376 | Location: Oklahoma City, OK | Registered: Wed December 10 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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