Letter to the Editor: Equipment justified
BY C. George Haralson, Miami, Okla.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
12/22/12 at 2:48 AM
As a police chief and a member on the board of directors representing law enforcement agencies in the state of Oklahoma for the Regional Organized Crime Intelligence Center, I felt compelled to comment on the Dec. 3 editorial, "Fighting Fraud."
The Department of Insurance's anti-fraud unit has seven investigators. It is a commissioned law enforcement agency under Oklahoma state statutes. The investigators are experienced state-certified law enforcement officers with statewide jurisdiction to initiate felony criminal investigations, serve arrest and search warrants and make arrests.
White-collar crime is defined as "a financially motivated nonviolent crime for illegal monetary gain." To be clear, insurance fraud crimes are violations of both state and federal laws and often are related to other crimes such as arson, auto theft, burglary, larceny, forgery, money laundering, racketeering and criminal conspiracy.
As a manager, it is my responsibility to provide the equipment necessary for officers to safely perform their duties on a daily basis. When law enforcement officers make arrests or serve search warrants it's a lot like the forward pass of a football; three things might happen - two of them bad.
I agree with Insurance Commissioner John Doak's decision to equip OID criminal investigators with the necessary equipment to fulfill their mission and enforce state laws in a safe and efficient manner. Insurance fraud investigations are the primary responsibility of OID and require a high level of expertise, time and resources that most Oklahoma law enforcement agencies aren't able to provide.
Editor's note: Haralson also is the Miami, Okla., chief of police.
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