Police Officer Kelley Chase
Oklahoma City Police Department, Oklahoma
End of Watch: Saturday, October 13, 2012
Tour of Duty: 5 months
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Training accident
Date of Incident: October 12, 2012
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available
Agency Contact Information
Chief of Police Bill Citty
Oklahoma City Police Department
701 Colcord Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Phone: (405) 231-2121
Police Officer Kelley Chase died after suffering a head injury during a defensive tactics test at the Oklahoma City Police Academy.
He was completing the six-minute long final test with an instructor when he was thrown to the ground and struck the back of his head on a mat. He remained conscious but was unable to stand up again after striking his head. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to internal head injuries the following day.
Officer Chase was a U.S. Air Force veteran and had been sworn in as a police officer only five months earlier at the beginning of his academy session. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Local police agencies are waiting to review their self defense training classes until the Oklahoma City police department comes out with more details about an accident involving the death of a recruit.
On Friday, 38-year-old Kelley Chase was in a training class in Oklahoma City when he was appropriately grabbed by his trainer and his head hit the mat. Oklahoma City’s Chief of Police, Bill Citty said Chase was unable to stand up. Nurses took him to the hospital where he later died.
“It wasn’t a violent or aggressive move but he did go back and hit his head on the mat,” said Chief Citty. “It appears the training was appropriate and the move was appropriate. We’ve been doing it for 11 years.”
A few days later, Chief Citty announced all self defense training classes will now require a helmet.
“We won’t do any more training without helmets,” said Citty. “We need to do everything we can to protect these recruits. We just have to.”
Bixby Police Sgt. Andy Choate told FOX23 News he wanted to hear the details of the accident before he would discuss changing their safety precautions.
“At this point we don’t have a lot of information,” said Sgt. Choate. “You can’t allow yourself to have a knee-jerk reaction, accidents happen.”
He also admitted that training can be dangerous.
“There have always been sprains and even some broken limbs,” said Sgt. Choate.
He said they use padded rooms to train in at the Bixby High School Wrestling room. They only use helmets for training that would require an active shooter or clearing a building.
Tulsa police told FOX23 they use padded rooms too and sometimes use padded helmets.
Chief Citty does not expect any criminal charges to come out of Chase’s death.
Chase leaves behind a wife and two young children.