Power for Progress… a weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority.
This time of year, the officers of the Grand River Dam Authority Police Department spend a fair amount of time in the boat. In fact, if you have been on the waters of Grand or Hudson lakes or the Illinois River this summer, you have likely seen them. They are out there, helping to promote safe outings, provide assistance and enforce rules and regulations.
Of course, patrolling GRDA lakes is a primary responsibility for a department with its roots firmly planted on the shores of Grand Lake. GRDA began patrolling the lake not long after the construction of Pensacola Dam, at a time when Grand’s 46,500 surface acres were gaining popularity as a major recreational playground for the region. For decades, GRDA officers have been a fixture on all the waters under GRDA control, as the Authority works to fulfill its commitment to environmental stewardship and economic development, while also supporting recreation, tourism and quality of life.
While enforcing lake rules and regulations, conducting boat inspections and helping ensure safe outings on 70,000 surface acres of waters are top priorities, the department is also responsible for investigating injuries, deaths, and any theft that occurs on GRDA property, including electric substations. In short, GRDA’s law enforcement officers help protect the Authority’s assets wherever they are located in the state of Oklahoma.
Today, those assets includes multiple facilities, over 1,200 miles of high voltage electric transmission lines, and hundreds of substations all utilized by GRDA to meet its mission and provide low-cost, reliable electricity that reaches into 75 of 77 Oklahoma counties. So, whether they are on the water, helping to keep lake visitors safe, or on the land, watching over GRDA’s assets, the efforts of a GRDA Police Officer benefits thousands of Oklahomans all across the state.
GRDA is Oklahoma’s largest public power utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.