The need for a state police force in Oklahoma became evident in the 1930s as the popularity of the automobile and the lack of paved roads caused a spike in traffic injuries and fatalities. In addition to traffic control, a statewide police force was necessary to nab criminals who used high-speed get-a-way cars to travel across county lines where the local sheriff had to halt his pursuit. Governor E.W. Marland convinced the state legislature to create the Oklahoma Highway Patrol in 1937. A few dedicated troopers with little training and bare-bones equipment hit state highways and made an immediate impact. Now, three quarters of a century later, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is one of the most modern state police agencies in the nation. Using the latest in technology, the OHP continues to protect and serve the citizens of Oklahoma.
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