Kansas, Oklahoma has a new police chief, J. J. Mason.
Mason and his wife, Brittney, reside in the Kansas area along with their two children, one in Kindergarten and the other in 2nd grade at Kansas elementary school.
Brittney teaches at NSU in Tahlequah.
Mason, himself, is a graduate of Jay, growing up a Bulldog.
"Once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog, but I proudly wear Kansas Comets' red as my kids are in Kansas school," explained Mason.
Mason began his law enforcement career 18 years ago working in the Delaware County Jail in Jay, then became a Delaware County deputy sheriff.
After a brief break from the field of law enforcement, Mason found the work calling to him.
"Once it gets in your blood, it’s there," said Mason. "When I was in high school, everyone said I would be in law enforcement, but I didn't believe them; yet here I am."
Mason joined the Kansas police department almost 12 years ago, and was named Chief on August 1, following the resignation of the previous chief.
Law enforcement is a family affair as his brother serves on the Jay police department and his dad serves on the Kansas police department… that’s right, dad now reports to the son.
When asked if the reporting structure was awkward for either his dad or himself, "No, the department is like a family unit and decisions are made by consensus," though Mason retains final say.
It isn't just the town of Kansas the department covers as they also help in Delaware County almost daily.
For instance, Mason was operating on just three hours sleep during the interview, because he had been helping Delaware County with a manhunt in the Kenwood area, most of the night.
The department's main focus is on traffic, school safety, "Say No!” drug campaigns and investigations of all sorts.
For the first time ever, the department is currently moving to implement 24 hour coverage using paid staff very soon.
There is a volunteer reserve staff of six, who help the department's nine paid staff, as needed to fill in gaps caused by sickness, vacation, etc.
The reserve staff are trained, must be 21 or older, have graduated high school or have a GED, not currently being treated for mental illness or have not been convicted of a felony.
Drugs, like anywhere in Oklahoma, are one if the biggest challenges in the Kansas area, both in town and those brought into town.
Mason is proud to serve in Kansas "It is where I was needed and where the Lord put me."
The Kansas police department is a tight-knit group who operates more like a "family unit" beginning with the front desk, to the officers on the street, led by their proud, new Chief.
Congratulations, Chief J. J. Mason.