The intangibles make a difference when Ron Mayes works as a trainer or community resource officer with the Muskogee Police.
“Making the time to talk to a boy or girl who is having a bad day,” Mayes said. “It’s seeing a woman and saying ‘Ma’am, I notice your child said he had nothing to eat that day. Here’s a voucher for some food. I realize you’re in the street, no place to go, here is a hotel.
He said he sees it as a purpose in life, one his mother instilled in him and his twin brother, Don.
Ron Mayes said he had always resisted the idea of being a police officer, even though his mother had encouraged him for a long time.
He recalled working as Muskogee’s animal control supervisor when he heard the police department was hiring.
“I was hesitant, but I knew there was something bigger for me once I got here,” he said. “I remember what my mother always told me.”
So Mayes applied and worked as a reserve officer for a time.
“I didn’t know how my community would take it,” he said. “In addition to Chief Cotton, in addition to AJ Rudd, in addition to Gerald Thompson, in addition to Sgt. Duncan – they were just African Americans I knew who were part of the force. I knew them but I did not feel close to them.
However, he felt there was a purpose.
“All I know is that I needed to be here because it was meant by God,” he said.
Mayes said he also saw purpose in training. He is a lay basketball coach at the Muskogee Public Schools Grade 6 and 7 Academy. A lay coach is not certified district staff.
His coaching philosophy is like his life philosophy.
“If you come to train and give it your all, you’re going to give it your all for life,” he said. “You want to compete for a job, you want to compete for scholarships. We want them to know perseverance. If something doesn’t go your way, you keep fighting until it goes your way.
See the good
to give back
Ron Mayes says being a Muskogee Police Community Resource Officer is one way to give back to the community.
“We are in the community every day, talking to citizens, talking to stakeholders, talking to young people,” he said. “Trying to take care of the homeless population. We have bags that have been donated, with hats and gloves, blankets, toothbrushes.
Mayes said he works from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. He said he is based in Arrowhead Mall, but spends a lot of time in the community. For example, he was a disc jockey at a recent National Night Out event at a Muskogee park.
Mayes said he was getting positive results from his work.
“I see myself everyday going out and getting messages from my community that I’m doing a good job,” he said. How they thank me for taking the time to listen to their problems. Taking time to help solve their problems takes time even if the problem has not been solved, but I have given them an answer.
Mayes joined his twin brother and a few others to launch the No Speed Limit summer track program for young people in 2015.
“We were really tired of watching our kids go to Tulsa and run in their track programs,” he said. “We thought we were as good as other places.”
Mayes said they initially wanted 25 when they started with a summer speed camp.
“We ended up having over 80 kids,” he said. “We have children from Bristow. We have children from Gore, Warner, Whitefield.
The older runners mentor the younger ones, he said.
The club travels to fixtures across the United States, he said.
“These are children who would never have had this opportunity,” he said. “We get these kids who are not the best. Kids who just want to do something different.
However, several runners have won national awards over the years, Mayes said. They included Wagoner’s Ashton Bartholomew, who made it to nationals.
Coaching on a
Mayes said a lay coach is no different than a certified coach.
“Apart from the title, no one would know that I was a non-professional coach,” he said. “Everything must be done, all the regulations must be done as if I were a real coach.”
Mayes said he seeks to treat each student individually.
“I don’t put all children in the same basket,” he says. “I meet each child at their level. Then I try to train these children in all facets. Even if the child has more skills, I try to teach him the fundamentals, as if he doesn’t know. That way, it would cheer up the other child who wasn’t as gifted.
He said that when he sees everyone on the same level, he sees “everyone going up”.
“At the same time, everyone is bringing their all,” Mayes said. “But everyone comes the same way.”
Mayes said he particularly enjoys coaching students who are not polite or the most athletic – the underdogs.
“I love having kids who, as the old cliché goes, have two left feet,” he said. “These kids are more meaningful than a kid who has all the athletic skills.”
He said he felt gratified when a player made a basket.
“And he’s looking over, and his mom or grandma is so thrilled that he’s finally gotten out of the house and done something,” she said. “Now this kid is thriving. Now they go over there and buy him a basketball. He’s over there training. His grades have changed. His ways have changed. His level of respect has changed.
HOW DID YOU COME TO BE A MUSKOGEE OKIE?
“I was born and raised here.”
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT MUSKOGEE?
“It’s a small-town feeling, but with big-city ambition. I love the fact that in Muskogee you can dream and achieve it at the same time. You can meet a person here in Muskogee and make something happen.
WHAT MAKES MUSKOGEE A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE?
“If we had an event center where the kids can actually go, where we have basketball courts. We have indoor location for soccer, indoor for volleyball. Pitching mound, batting cages.
WHICH MUSKOGEE PERSON DO YOU ADMIRE THE MOST?
“Reggie Grant. We befriended him at a time when we were reluctant to go back to college. He was drafted by the 76ers in 1975-76, but due to a bad decision he made in his life, he was unable to continue his NBA career. We befriended him on a basketball court at the armory and he helped us get back on track.
WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE THING THAT HAPPENS TO YOU AT MUSKOGEE?
“As young children, running with my mother. My twin brother and I thought we were the fastest kids. For some reason, we could never outrun our mother. So we would go out and practice and practice and practice. The time we beat her, we were so excited because no one could be more competitive. As I got older, I discovered that she let us win. By letting us win, it made us want to keep going.
WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?
” I train. I have a youth track program that I do in the summer. Often in my spare time I try to think of new and innovative ways to coach.
HOW WILL YOU SUMMARY MUSKOGEE IN 25 WORDS OR LESS?
“Muskogee is on the rise.”
Meet Ron Mayes
AGE: 25 years old and dressed.
EDUCATION: Grant Foreman, Tony Goetz and Cherokee Elementary Schools; West Junior High School; Muskogee High School. Northeast Oklahoma A&M University, Bacone College.
OCCUPATION: Community Resource Officer, Muskogee Police Department.
FAMILY: Wife, Shanta; three children.
CHURCH: Faith Deliverance Christian Center.
HOBBIES: “Talking to young people. I play basketball, video games, PS 5; sit and talk with friends.