Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Seal
|Headquarters||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
90 commissioned agents
|Annual budget||$37.4 million|
|Website||Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation|
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) is an independent state law enforcement agency of the government of Oklahoma. The OSBI assists the county sheriff offices and city police departments of the state, and is the primary investigative agency of the state government. OSBI works independent of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety to investigate criminal law violations within the state at the request of statutory authorized requesters. The OSBI was created in 1925 during the term of Governor Martin E. Trapp.
The OSBI is governed by a seven-member commission, with each member of the commission appointed by the Governor of Oklahoma. The commission then appoints a director, who serves at the pleasure of the commission, as the chief executive officer of the OSBI. The current Director is Ricky G. Adams and was appointed to serve as Director on July 1, 2018.
In the early 1920s gangs of outlaws roamed the state robbing and burglarizing banks and terrorizing the citizens of many Oklahoma towns. These gangsters often escaped lawmen by fleeing across county lines. The United States Marshals Service was the only law enforcement agency with statewide jurisdiction, but its officers were outnumbered by the bandits.
In 1925, Governor of Oklahoma Martin E. Trapp, in his State of the State address recommended the creation of an agency of special investigators or state police to combat the outlaws. The Oklahoma Legislature appropriated $78,000 to establish the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. A year after its creation, the Bureau's three agents or operatives were credited with reducing the number of bank robberies in the state by roughly 75 percent. Agents accomplished this by developing leads and using informants which were considered by many to be innovative investigative techniques at the time.
In 1939, the Bureau was taken out from under the direction of the Adjutant General's Office and became a division of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. It was during these years that the agency became known as the State Crime Bureau. This arrangement lasted until 1957, when the Bureau was placed under the direct control of the Governor's Office and renamed the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Also in 1957, the OSBI began to emerge as a professional law enforcement agency. Employees were placed under the merit system and for the first time, working for the agency was seen as a career opportunity rather than temporary employment.
In the wake of a controversial investigation of Governor David Hall by the Bureau, the agency was removed from the direct control of the Governor's Office. In 1976, a seven member independent commission was created to oversee the activities of the OSBI. The makeup of the Commission includes: one police chief, one sheriff, one district attorney and four lay members. These members are appointed by the Governor and approved by the Oklahoma Senate to serve seven year staggered terms. In general, the OSBI Commission appoints the Director, hears complaints, establishes guidelines and serves as a buffer between the Bureau and potential political pressures concerning any particular investigations.
On September 11, 2002, the OSBI was recognized as the first Oklahoma state law enforcement agency to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
On July 1, 2009, OSBI assumed the research functions of the Oklahoma Criminal Justice Resource Center and the Oklahoma Sentencing Commission, which were dissolved at that time. OSBI is now officially recognized by the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics as the State Analysis Center.
The OSBI is responsible for serving as the lead scientific agency for the Oklahoma law enforcement community. The Oklahoma Legislature has directed OSBI to maintain a nationally accredited scientific laboratory to assist all law enforcement agencies in the discovery and detection of criminal activity. As such, OSBI operates the State Forensic Science Center in Edmond and four Regional Forensic Laboratories across the State. OSBI also maintains an Statewide identification system which includes fingerprints, criminal history records, juvenile identification records, and DNA profiles.
OSBI also serves as the leading criminal investigation agency in the State. OSBI Agents partner with other state, county, and local law enforcement agencies to detect crime. OSBI provides assistance to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, the Oklahoma Chief Medical Examiner, all district attorneys, local sheriff's office, and municipal police departments when assistance is requested. It is the duty of the OSBI to investigate and detect any and all criminal activity when so directed by the Governor of Oklahoma. Typical crimes investigated by OSBI at the request of other agencies are Part 1 Crimes: aggravated assault, forcible rape, murder, robbery, arson, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft.
The OSBI has original jurisdiction over, and may on its own initiative investigate, the following crimes:
- Vehicle and oil field equipment theft
- Criminal threats to public officials
- Computer crimes
- Crimes committed on the State's turnpikes
- Organized crime and criminal conspiracies
- Terrorism or terrorist conspiracies
For any crime that OSBI does not have original jurisdiction over, a requesting agency must seek OSBI assistance in order for OSBI to investigate the crime. There are only a limit number of agencies or officials that can request the OSBI to conduct an investigation. They are:
- Police Chiefs
- County Sheriffs
- District Attorneys
- The Attorney General of Oklahoma
- The Governor of Oklahoma
- The Oklahoma Council on Judicial Complaints
- The Oklahoma Department of Human Services related to child abuse investigations
- Any District Judge related to a child abuse investigations
- Any committee of the Oklahoma Legislature which has subpoena power
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation under the supervision of the Oklahoma Secretary of Safety and Security. The OSBI Director, who is appointed by the OSBI Commission, has direct control over the OSBI. Under Governor of Oklahoma Kevin Stitt, Chip Keating is serving as the Secretary and Ricky G. Adams is serving as OSBI Director.
OSBI is governed by a seven member OSBI Commission, with all members being appointed by the Governor of Oklahoma, with the approval of the Oklahoma Senate, to serve seven year terms. Governor may remove any member at any time only for cause. No more than two members of the Commission may reside in the same congressional district. Four members must be ordinary citizens, one must be a sitting district attorney, one must be a sitting county sheriff, and one must be a sitting chief of police.
As of 2020, the current members of the OSBI Commission are:
- Mike Boring – Chairman and D.A. Member
- David Houser – Vice Chairman and Chief Member
- Vic Regalado – Sheriff Member
- Ron Cunningham – Lay Member
- W. Roger Webb – Lay Member
- Bryan Smith – Lay Member
- Bob Ricks – Lay Member
|Title||Description||Comparative OHP rank|
|Director||Appointed by OSBI Commission to be the professional head of the OSBI.||OHP Colonel|
|Deputy & Division Director||The deputy director is appointed by OSBI Director to serve as second-in-command of the OSBI. The Division Directors of the Investigative, Forensic Science and Information Services are also appointed by the Director. All Serve at the Lt. Colonel level.||OHP Lt. Colonel|
|OSBI Major||Responsible for Commanding two or more Regionals or Specialized Units||OHP Major|
|Special Agent in Charge/Captain||Responsible for directing Regional Offices or a Specialized Unit||OHP Captain|
|Assistant Special Agent in Charge/Lieutenant||Responsible for directing investigations within a Regional Office or Specialized Unit. This is the first level of supervisor||OHP Lieutenant|
|Special Agent III||Responsible for leading broad, complex and highly specialized investigations or as a resident agent and does not supervise, badges have "Special Agent" inscribed||OHP Trooper (SGT. Level)|
|Agent II||Responsible for leading investigations and assisting lower level Agents in the performance of their duties badges have "Agent" inscribed||OHP Trooper Mid-Grade|
|Agent I||Responsible for field investigative operations or specialized or technical law enforcement function badges have "Agent" inscribed||OHP Trooper|
Support Services Section
Central business office of OSBI. Has responsibility for supporting the Director by providing budgeting, procurement, human resources and other support services to the entire Bureau.
The section is organized as follows:
- Accounting and Budget Section
- Procurement and Facilities Section
- Human Resources Section
- Public Information Director
- Legal Service
Investigative Services Division
The primary duty of the OSBI Investigative Services Division is to assist local law enforcement agencies in solving crimes. OSBI agents offer a number of services including collecting and preserving evidence at crime scenes, participating in undercover investigations to obtain information and evidence, interviewing witnesses and apprehending criminals. Agents investigate many types of crime, including: homicides, rapes, assaults, white collar crime, public corruption, property crimes such as burglaries, Internet crimes against children, child abuse, auto theft and oil field theft. Services also include polygraph examinations, electronic surveillance, crime scene investigations, forensic art, judicial backgrounds, and local law enforcement training in areas of basic and advanced criminal investigations. Specially trained Crime Scene Agents are located statewide, ready at all times to conduct crime scene investigations as well as to collect and preserve evidence from the scenes they investigate.
The OSBI Investigative Services Division is home to the Criminal Intelligence Unit which provides investigative support to the division, as well as home to the Oklahoma State Clearinghouse for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The Division is divided into six regional investigative offices with geographic based jurisdiction and three headquarters investigative units with functional based authority and State-wide jurisdiction:
- Regional Investigative Units
- Northwest Region Office - Woodward
- Southwest Region Office - Lawton
- North Central Region Office - Stillwater
- South Central Region Office - Headquarters
- Northeast Region Office - Tulsa
- Southeast Region Office - McAlester
- Headquarters Units
- Internet Crimes Against Children Unit
- Special Investigations Unit
- Crime Scene Investigations Unit
Information Services Division
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation partners with local, state and federal law enforcement in the State of Oklahoma on many levels. The OSBI works with law enforcement agencies across the state to share, collect, and offer computer and Internet based programs that will permit the efficient use of crime fighting programs.
Within the Division is the Crime Data Collection and Analysis Unit. Before becoming consolidated into OSBI, the Unit existed as the independent Office of Criminal Justice Statistics. The Unit provides research and analysis relating to the state's criminal justice system and integrated, customizable records management software for law enforcement in the form of the Offender Data Information System (ODIS). The Unit serves as the state's Statistical Analysis Center (SAC), the official point of contact with the United States Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics. As the state's SAC, Unit is a member of the Justice Research and Statistics Association.
The Division is organized as follows:
- Identification Unit - manages OSBI database of fingerprints
- Criminal History Reporting Unit - manages requests for criminal history from public
- Self Defense Act Unit - licensing and regulation of concealed hand-gun permits
- Field Services Unit - provides identification training services to local law enforcement agencies
- Crime Data Collection and Analysis Unit - responsible for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of criminal justice information
Criminalistics Services Division
Since its creation in 1953, the OSBI Criminalistic Services Division has been responsible for providing operating the Oklahoma Forensic Science Center, which provides forensic science laboratory services for Oklahoma's law enforcement agencies. The Criminalistic Services Division provides forensic analysis in the following areas:
- Trace evidence
- Latent prints
- Firearms and toolmarks
- Digital Evidence Unit
The Division is divided into a central Forensic Science Center in Edmond and four regional laboratories:
- Eastern Regional Laboratory - McAlester
- Northeastern Regional Laboratory - Tahlequah
- Northwestern Regional Laboratory - Enid
- Southwestern Regional Laboratory - Lawton
The State Bureau of Investigation, with an annual budget of over $35 million, is one of the larger employers of the State. For fiscal year 2009, the Bureau was authorized 334 full-time employees.
|Division||Number of Employees|
|Investigative Services Division||92 of which 78 are commissioned Special Agents|
|Criminalistic Services Division||94|
|Information Services Division||64|
In order to by employed as a Special Agent with the OSBI, an individual must, at the time of employment, be at least 21 years old and must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Neither the OSBI Commission nor the OSBI Director have the authority to waive these requirements. In addition, all employees must be persons of "outstanding honesty, integrity and ability."
All promotions from Agent II into the higher ranks are based on tests administered by the OSBI Director, in consultation with the Administrator of the Oklahoma Office of Personnel Management. In general, the following minimum requirements are needed to obtain the following ranks:
- Agent I - No law enforcement experience
- Agent II - One year of investigative law enforcement experience
- Special Agent - Three years of investigative law enforcement experience
- Assistant Special Agent in Charge - Three years of law enforcement experience
- Special Agent in Charge - Two years of experience as supervisor of investigative unit.
- Division Director - four years of law enforcement experience with two years of supervisory experience
The positions of OSBI Director and Deputy Director are in the unclassified service of the state. They are appointed by the OSBI Commission without consideration to the classified employees of the OSBI. Any classified Agent that is appointed Director or Deputy Director is eligible to return to their position in the classified service without loss of benefit or salary. In order to be eligible to be appointed OSBI Director, an individual must:
- be a professional law enforcement officer with at least five years in law enforcement
- have at least two years experience in an administrative position with a law enforcement agency
The qualifications of the Deputy Director are the same as the Director.
As established by Oklahoma law, with the Director, Deputy Director and Division Director executive and Special Agent in Charge salary increases only, effective July 1, 2014, the annual salaries for OSBI law enforcement agents are as follows:
|Special Agent in Charge||$85,000.00|
|Asst. Special Agent in Charge||$73,312.50|
|Special Agent III||$63,907.25|
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation's budget is generated primarily be annual appropriations from the Oklahoma Legislature. Annual appropriations make up 46% ($17.1 million), 36% generated from the fees charged by the Bureau ($13.3 million), and the remaining 19% ($7 million) coming from various other sources.
The majority of OSBI's budget (69% or $25.9 million) is spent on employee benefits and salaries. 25% ($9.2 million) goes to operating expenses and the remaining 6% ($2.4 million) are dedicated to various other expenses.
For fiscal year 2011, each of the operating units of the Bureau operate with the following budgets:
|Division||Funding (in millions)|
|Investigative Services Division||$11.7|
|Criminalistic Services Division||$11.7|
|Information Services Division||$5.3|
Since the establishment of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, 4 officers have died in the line of duty.
|Officer||Date of Death||Details|
|Agent Luther Bishop||Gunfire|
|Agent Crockett Long||Gunfire|
|Agent Clifford W. Roberts||Struck by train|
|Agent Chester W. Stone||Heart attack|
- "OSCN Found Document:Powers and Duties of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation". www.oscn.net. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
- 74 O.S. § 150.5 (OSCN 2016)
- "OSCN Found Document:State Bureau of Investigation Commission". www.oscn.net. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
- FY 2011 State Budget, Oklahoma Office of State Finance
- Section 15.6a, Title 74, Oklahoma Statutes
- FY 2011 State Budget, Oklahoma Office of State Finance
- The Officer Down Memorial Page