Faculty and staff members from various departments and former police officers gathered together to honor the retirement of a man committed to service on Feb. 4.
Captain Larry Fields attended Claremore Military Academy and later earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Oklahoma before serving as second lieutenant in the Army.
In 1974, Fields joined the Bethany Police Department and retired from there as police captain. He then had a variety of jobs from working security at Bethany General Hospital, to serving as a patrol officer for Oklahoma Christian University and working for the state as a criminal investigator at the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
After 13 years with Oklahoma Christian – twice serving as interim director and chief – the Oklahoma Christian Campus Police Department honored Fields in his retirement on Thursday, Feb. 4.
“If I had a USB port to plug in and get all that he knows about this campus, I would,” Chief of Police Greg Giltner said. “Very few people take on the role of being a police officer, even fewer take on the role of being a leader.”
Giltner said that Fields was an integral part of the transition from security guards to campus police, which is why he was given both patches along with other items of recognition.
“That’s an 1861 replica sword; I tried to find the original sword you used in the U.S. Calvary, but the museum has it on display,” Giltner said to Fields. “For those of you in here that are military or law enforcement, typically when a commander changes his command to another unit or when he leaves that unit in retirement, he’s handed a saber.”
Fields also received a law enforcer’s Bible with his name on the front and testimonies from other law officials in the back.
“I’ve always appreciated the level approach that Larry takes to everything that he does,” Dean of Student Life Neil Arter said. “I really love the fact too, that I think a lot of that is formed by his faith, and that’s a very strong aspect of his character.”
Various stories of memories over the years were shared among the faculty and staff members who came to the retirement party for Fields.
“Larry and I were in the reserves together for a number of years, we worked the same section together … we’ve been through some very exciting times together,” Kinney Bryant, director of university services, said. “He’s someone that I felt always had my back. … He has been a great influence on my life, both in the reserves and also here at OC.”
Fields said that he was “overwhelmed” by the support from those who have worked with him throughout the years.
“It’s been my pleasure to serve Oklahoma Christian,” Fields said. “It’s not just work, it’s being a part of this university. This is a great place to work and fellowship and just be who you are with the students.”
Junior Evan Lockhart, a student worker for the campus police, said that Fields has made an impression since their first meeting.
“I had just learned his name and he gave me his phone number saying that if I ever needed anything to call him and he would be there to help,” Lockhart said. “That is just the type of guy he is. And that shows how much he cares about Oklahoma Christian and its students.”
Fields is more than just a police officer, according to Lockhart.
“When I was first interested in coming to OC they told me that you make life long friends here,” Lockhart said. “I thought they were just talking about students but that also includes the staff.