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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

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For Immediate Release: February 19, 2008

OSBI Director DeWade Langley presents Sen. Jonathan Nichols with the Director's Award for Exemplary Service
OSBI Director DeWade Langley presents Sen. Jonathan Nichols with the Director's Award for Exemplary Service

Sen. Nichols Honored by State Bureau of Investigation

Having been law enforcement’s most outspoken supporter in the state Senate since his election in 2000, Sen. Jonathan Nichols was recently honored by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) with the Director’s Award for Exemplary Service.

Nichols has been the author of numerous measures that have given the agency the tools necessary to fight crime more effectively and provide a more rapid response to crimes against Oklahoma’s most vulnerable citizens.

OSBI spokesperson Jessica Brown praised Nichols for his efforts to make the state a safer place to live, work and raise a family.

“Sen. Nichols has been a great champion for law enforcement and specifically the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation,” she said.  “His efforts to help us fight crimes against children have meant a great deal to law enforcement and our state as a whole.”

In 2006, Sen. Nichols authored Senate Bill 1800, which established the Child Abuse Response Team (CART) within the OSBI for the purpose of investigating physical and sexual child abuse.  CART is an expert team of child abuse investigators who provide an enhanced level of expertise to child abuse investigations.  Comprised of the best in their field, CART is called in to address emergency child abuse cases throughout the state.

Since January 1, 2007, the OSBI has investigated 102 cases of child abuse, involving 120 victims.  Nichols said his greatest responsibility as a lawmaker is to ensure that law enforcement has the tools they need to prevent such tragedies. 

“I have always felt that it is my duty as a lawmaker to do everything in my power to make a difference in the lives of children who need help,” said Nichols, R-Norman.  “If we are not making every effort to defend the powerless, then we are not performing our most essential function.  I’m pleased we were able to establish this team, and I’ll continue working to enact legislation that protects Oklahoma children.”

In 2005, Nichols authored Senate Bill 646, which authorized the OSBI to collect DNA from individuals convicted of all felony offenses.  Previously, collections for the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) were only authorized for 40 particular felony crimes.  Broadening the DNA database greatly increases law enforcement’s chances to solve crimes, particularly cold cases in which victims may still be waiting for justice.  According to the OSBI, Senate Bill 646 has directly resulted in the identification of suspects in 85 different investigations which were unsolved prior to the passage of the legislation.

Nichols said it was an honor to be recognized for his contributions to the law enforcement community.

“Our law enforcement officials put their lives on the line to keep Oklahoma safe, and their dedication to fighting on our behalf should never go unnoticed,” Nichols said.  “I will remain committed to preserving and strengthening the ability of Oklahoma law enforcement to investigate and prosecute criminals.”

For more information contact:
Senate Communications Division:  (405) 521-5774

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