Harry Stege, a former Tulsa police chief, passed away Saturday at the age of 86.
Gerard and John Stege said their father’s position as an officer was influential in their own lives.
“My great-grandfather was in the department and our grandfather and our dad was on there,” Gerard Stege said.
Harry Stege leaves behind six children. In addition to John and Gerard serving as police officers, three of them also served in the military.
“My sister served for the Department of Defense, so I think there is something genetic there,” Gerard Stege said.
Harry Stege joined the Tulsa Police Department in 1955 and served as its police chief from 1977 to 1983.
Gerard Stege was a patrol officer for 32 years in Tulsa while John Stege spent 23 years working at the Norman Police Department.
Both said their father modernized the department.
“Recognizing, for example, that police work can be mentally tasking,” John Stege said.
John said his father was known to look out for his fellow officers. He brought in a psychologist for mental health and safety equipment for officers at a time when that was seen as a luxury.
Chief Stege is credited with bringing the department into the technological age by installing computers into police units and also computerizing the records management system.
Gerard and John agree that their father was a straightforward man who made sure to get the job done, but said he also knew how to joke around.
“When we ever get to the point of having a life celebration or ceremony for him, I think there is going to be a lot more laughing than tears,” Gerard Stege said.
Whatever their father put his mind to, Gerard and John he did it with integrity.
“I feel blessed that he was my father, love him dearly and we will miss him,” John Stege said.
A funeral for Harry Stege has yet to be finalized.