Nov. 19—Retired Payne County deputy Joe Staley died on Monday at 77-years-old.
Staley served Payne County for 52 years.
He was first hired as a security officer for the Oklahoma State University Police Department in 1968. Officers patrolled on foot at the time and could only communicate on walkie talkies.
Staley was the first young person hired, breaking a stigma that young men couldn’t be professional around college-aged women.
After a two-year stint at OSUPD, he worked at the Payne County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy from 1970 to 1982.
City Manager Norman McNickle said he met Staley in 1976.
“We worked on a lot of cases together. He was a guy who was a bulldog with cases,” McNickle said. “He was a good guy. He wanted justice. He would work just as hard to prove somebody was innocent as he would guilty, and I can’t think of any other person that I would prefer to have my back.”
Staley then became the first District Attorney’s Office Investigator and held that position for 34 years.
His final acts of service came between 2016 and 2020 as a civil paper service deputy — again at the Payne County Sheriff’s Office — before his retirement.
Dighton Marler Funeral Home has scheduled a visitation and service on Nov. 21 at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., respectively. Sunnybrook Christian Church will have its service Nov. 22 at 11 a.m.