Fallen Officers

Lieutenant Jerry Wayne Bratcher was born on July 30, 1934 in McComb, Oklahoma. He worked in a foundry in Hutchinson, Kansas and as a civilian at Tinker Air Force Base prior to joining the Norman Police Department on February 13, 1958. He served as a patrolman and motorcycle officer prior to being promoted to Detective Sergeant in 1961. He was promoted to Detective Lieutenant in 1963. On November 24, 1963 at approximately 4:30 p.m., he was eastbound on Alameda Street approaching 84th Avenue in route to investigate a report of a stolen vehicle. A collision occurred when another vehicle turned left from 84th Avenue into the path of Lieutenant Bratcher's police unit. The driver of the other vehicle and Lieutenant Bratcher were killed when they were ejected from their vehicles. Lieutenant Bratcher was survived by his wife, two daughters, and one son. 

Officer Melvin Oliver Miner was born on June 10, 1947 in Goodnight, Oklahoma. His lifelong dream was to be a police officer. He fulfilled that dream on January 7, 1972 when he joined the Norman Police Department after completing a tour of duty with the United States Air Force. Miner was working on July 30, 1972 when the Norman Police Department received information from the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office that a suspect had just shot and killed his parents at their home located in south Cleveland County. The suspect name and vehicle description was provided to Miner by a dispatcher. Another officer observed the suspect vehicle traveling north on Sherry Avenue. Together, that officer and Miner pursued the vehicle through a residential area and then north on Flood Avenue to Robinson Street where the suspect exited his vehicle and began shooting at the officers with a shotgun. Officer Miner was hit with a shotgun blast, dying instantly from the injuries sustained. July 30, 1972 was Officer Miner's scheduled day off. However, keeping with his unselfish nature, he had traded days with another officer so that the other officer could spend a Sunday afternoon with his own family. 

Sergeant Dale DeBerry suffered a fatal heart attack on December 1, 1998 while completing a routine physical training exercise at the department's training facility. Sergeant DeBerry was running an obstacle course when he collapsed. Officers immediately came to his aid administering CPR. However, Sergeant DeBerry later died at a local hospital. The legacy left through his 14 years of service to the citizens of Norman and the outside law enforcement community will serve as a lasting reminder of his exemplary career. Sergeant DeBerry is survived by his wife and two children.