Retired Tulsa Officer To Be Honored For 27 Years Of Service

Tuesday, November 29th 2011, 6:22 pm
By: News On 6

A retired Tulsa police officer is one of six people being inducted into the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Hall of Fame this weekend.

Steve Downie has a long list of awards, including a purple heart and the Medal of Honor. Downie was shot in 1996 in an ambush that took the life of fellow officer Dick Hobson.

Downie served the citizens of Tulsa for 27 years before retiring five years ago. Officer Steve Downie spent his career as a hard working street cop, the first line of defense between citizens and criminals.

He served in several capacities, including the Special Operations Team, Mounted Patrol and K-9. It was in his role as a K-9 officer, that he and fellow K-9 Officer Dick Hobson were called to search a dark alley in downtown Tulsa for a man suspected of just robbing a nearby Whataburger.

Just a few steps into the alley and the suspect opened fire with a shotgun. Downie's leg was blown out from underneath him, yet he still returned fire, just as Officer Hobson did after being hit in the chest and side.

Hobson and the suspect were killed. Downie survived, but spent months recovering from his injuries and even longer getting over the loss of a fellow officer.

"I never thought of that, losing a friend. I thought of me getting shot, but not it happening to somebody else, let alone somebody like him," Downie said.

Downie returned to work, but not to ride out his time. Within a couple of years, he led the department in the number of warrants served - 500.

He still has nearly 200 shotgun pellets inside his leg and is extremely grateful for the men who saved his life in that alley and for those who helped him afterward.

"Couldn't have done it without the support, period," he said.

Dozens of people wrote letters recommending Steve be inducted to the Hall of Fame, praising his courage, tenacity and street cop mentality.

Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton, who served with Downie at TPD, headed up the effort and will be at the ceremony Sunday when Downie is inducted.

"Being a cop isn't what Steve did, it's who he is," said Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton.

The other inductees are Edmond Police Chief Bob Ricks, Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whestal, OSBI agent Luther Bishop, former director of OBN, Tom Heggy and Stillwater Police Captain Glenn Shirley.

The ceremony is this Sunday at 2 p.m. in Chandler.