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Oklahoma ScissorTales: A reminder of threats first-responders face

Oklahoma City Fire Maj. Andy Davis
Oklahoma City Fire Maj. Andy Davis

It can become shopworn to say police officers and firefighters put their lives on the line every day they're on the job. The Christmas Eve death of Oklahoma City firefighter Andy Davis reminds us this is true.

Davis, 45, died after contracting COVID-19 earlier in the month while responding to a call. He was a 20-year veteran of the department who worked out of Fire Station No. 10 at NW 16 and Pennsylvania Avenue. He also was part of a family of firefighters that includes his father, two brothers and a nephew.

The city’s police and fire departments have been hit hard by the coronavirus — calls directly related to the virus are up substantially, Fire Chief Richard Kelley says.

Mayor David Holt noted that many residents have been able to work from home during the pandemic. However, “The fire department doesn’t have that option,” he said. “They are out in this pandemic serving in the community.” Kudos to all of them, and condolences to Davis and his family.

Donations make new trooper academy possible

Thanks are owed to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and Oklahoma State Banking Department for helping to fund the next academy of state troopers. Budget cuts to the Department of Public Safety made a new round of classes unlikely, a problem that has plagued DPS for years. “If you don’t have an annual school it will eventually catch up to you, and it has,” Capt. Donald Kerr, commander of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Training Center, told the Tulsa World. “To me, it (funding) should be mandated. Nothing’s more important than people’s public safety.” These generous donations will allow about 65 cadets to begin their training in July or August.

A proper override of defense bill veto

On the whole, Congress through the years has shown strong support for the military. That support was evident again this year — twice. First, the House and Senate each approved the National Defense Authorization Act with bipartisan backing, despite President Trump’s threat to veto the $740 billion bill because it didn’t include repeal of an act that provides legal immunity to social media companies. After Trump followed through on his threat, the House this week easily overrode the veto by a vote of 322-87. Likewise, the Senate late in the week appeared on its way to an override. The act that Trump wanted repealed may merit the attention of Congress, but not as part of the defense bill. Members are right to keep the NDAA in place.

Highly anticipated Georgia election nears

Two elections next week in Georgia could have considerable bearing on the first two years of the Biden administration. The runoffs Tuesday are for Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats, which are held by Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. If both were to lose, then the Senate would be split 50-50, giving Democrats control because Kamala Harris, as vice president, would cast any tie-breaking votes. If Perdue or Loeffler wins, then Republicans would maintain control of the Senate and thus be able to serve as a check against some of the Democrats’ potential goals, such as repealing the Trump tax cuts or ending the filibuster rule. Georgia has long been a red state, but polls show both races are tight. It figures to make for must-watch election night viewing.

Objection to vote tally likely to be useless

Fireworks could accompany next week’s meeting of Congress to tally the Electoral College votes for the presidential election. Several House Republicans plan to object to returns in at least six states. During an appearance on “Fox and Friends,” Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., said there was “overwhelming” and “compelling” evidence of voter fraud and election theft. “There are dozens in the House of Representatives who have reached that conclusion, as I have,” he said. In order for their objection to be heard and debated, at least one member of the Senate must go along. Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is pledging to do just that. These members are traveling down what is almost certain be a dead-end road.

The Oklahoman Editorial Board

The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Kelly Dyer Fry, Publisher, Editor and Vice President of News; Owen Canfield, Opinion Editor; and Ray Carter, Chief Editorial Writer.. To submit a letter to the editor, go to this page or email... Read more ›