Longtime lawman hired as new Barnsdall police chief

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

Longtime Osage County law enforcement officer John Ferguson has been hired to be the new police chief for the City of Barnsdall.

Ferguson was selected for the position earlier this week following a unanimous vote of the Barnsdall City Council, according to an announcement made last week. His retirement from the Osage County Sheriff’s Office will not be official until June 1, however.

“Unofficially, I’ve been working some in Barnsdall already,” said Ferguson, who currently serves as an investigator with the OCSO. “But, my first full day as chief there will probably be sometime next week.”

In addition to a lengthy tenure with the sheriff’s department, Ferguson previously served as a police officer in Skiatook, Pawhuska and Fairfax and as an investigator with the Osage County District Attorney’s office. Ferguson has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience.

The last two Barnsdall police chiefs resigned within a five-month period, both after being involved in one-vehicle traffic accidents.

In October 2012, Matt Clark resigned after being injured in an early morning wreck involving his personal car. He was later charged with an alcohol-related offense in connection with that incident, which occurred in Bartlesville. Clark had been the Barnsdall chief for approximately one year.

Shane Davis, who succeeded Clark as chief, resigned under pressure in March after crashing the police department’s sport utility vehicle near Barnsdall. Davis, who was off-duty at the time of the mishap, also sustained injuries.