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Steven Davis

Police Dispatcher Steven Davis

Dispatcher

Police Department
At OKCU since 2013

Hurricane Katrina brought Steven Davis to Oklahoma in 2005.

He was working as a police officer in New Orleans and got trapped on duty in the city by the hurricane-induced flooding. When he got out, he received three months off. His house had flooded, and his family had lost everything. They were on their way to Seattle when a cousin invited them to stop over in Oklahoma. Steven liked what he saw.

“The people were friendly; that was the big thing,” he said. “People seemed to be nice genuinely, as opposed to being nice just because of what I was going through.”

“It got to be annoying—people feeling sorry for you. I didn’t need people to feel sorry for me. I was in a good place.”

As a kid, Steven didn’t dream of working in law enforcement. The career came to him. He majored in business administration at the University of New Orleans and then worked for the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office as a summer job after college. He ended up meeting his wife of 21 years, Seslie, a two-time OKCU graduate, there. They have three children: Steven, 30; Sheryl, 22; and Erin, 20. Erin studies English and art history at OKCU and plans to go straight into a master’s degree here or at Tulane University in New Orleans after she finishes her bachelor’s.

Steven appreciates the opportunity to help Erin avoid student loan debt through his employee benefits. “We’re just trying to get Erin finished with college,” he said. He and Seslie want to eventually retire and travel.

Steven has found that he prefers police work. He had a stint at Sprint in technical support when he first got to Oklahoma, but he took the chance to return to law enforcement when OKCU had an opening.

What do you do in your job?

Steven is often the person who answers when people call the OKCU police department at 208-5001. He also receives 911 calls placed from campus.

As the dispatcher on duty for 12 hours, he monitors video feeds of the 23rd Street and law school campuses. His computer screens display many Internet browser tabs of dozens of feeds each. Monitoring the activity has become second nature, he said.

“This position is a liaison between the department and different aspects of the campus. I talk to a lot of faculty and staff, students, and people in the neighborhoods—basically trying to keep the officers informed and safe and trying to get information from students and faculty when things happen.”

Steven wants the university community to know that witnesses to events should call the police immediately instead of waiting for a building coordinator. Witnesses have the best information that will help police follow up, he said. He also fields calls from faculty and staff who don’t know whom to contact, so now he knows every point person at the university.

“To me, the people make the job,” he said. Personnel have shifted over the years, and Steven enjoys the current mix of personalities that are “different enough to make things interesting.”

At the PD, staff members are either officers or dispatchers, and the department is small enough for everyone to know one another. One dispatcher works at a time, and officers spend most of their time patrolling. Chief Jennifer Rodgers reports to Vice President of Human Resources Joey Croslin.

What are interesting things about you that others may not know?

Steven has seen the Red Hot Chili Peppers in concert almost 100 times. When he was growing up, they played monthly in New Orleans. He also likes Prince, and “two of my all-time favorite concerts were The Power Station and Alice in Chains.”

He misses New Orleans, where he could occasionally go out to a nice restaurant at 2 a.m., but he’s still discovering parts of Oklahoma City to enjoy. For Erin’s birthday recently, the family ate at Fassler Hall in Midtown for the first time and loved it.

At home, Steven likes to play role-playing and shooter video games. He’s currently playing God of War. His old co-workers at Sprint would buy cases of energy drinks to finish games in one night, but that’s not Steven’s style. Games are expensive, he said, and he plans to make this one last for three years.