Caney Chief of Police Ron Wade
Caney Chief of Police Ron Wade

"When people experience unfairness, it is a privilege and responsibility as followers of a strong faith to respond with honesty and integrity, doing what is right, just and fair."  

Those were the words that came to the mind of Caney’s new Police Chief Ron Wade when asked about his philosophy to protect and serve. 

He was unsure who recorded the quote, but it definitely spoke to him.

“Something I always try and do and instill to my co-workers is that our job here in Caney is not to always arrest someone or write a citation, but to protect and serve the citizens of Caney,” said Chief Wade. “That may mean we possibly have to give people rides to the store, or take the time and sit down and talk with someone just because they are lonely. The bottom line is just treat people the way you would want to be treated and you will have a successful career in law enforcement.”

Wade knows a lot about having a successful career in law enforcement, having based his entire professional career around southeast Kansas.  

Born and raised in Caney and graduating from Caney Valley High School in 1984, Wade left to attend Ozark Christian Collage in Joplin, Mo., before returning to his hometown to serve as the recreation director for Caney.

He then tried his hand at working at Phillips Petroleum in Bartlesville, Okla., for Pete Hodges Electric, but decided the private sector was not for him. It was not long before he returned to Caney and took a job at the police department for six years. 

Wade’s intention has always been to serve the community, not to merely settle down. And to that end, Wade again left his hometown when he was hired at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in 1995 where he remained for nine years.  

He took a brief break from his career at the sheriff’s office when he was hired as the Director of the Washington County and Nowata Ok Drug Task Force from 2004 – 2006. Shortly after, he returned to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office where he served as a Lt. Detective before being hired  back on at the Caney Police Department in 2009. 

He has been there ever since.

Caney has always been more than a highlight on a resume to Wade.  It is the town he chose in which to raise his family.  

Today, he is also a devoted husband and father, married to Amy Wade. The couple are proud parents of three daughters: Abigail, Hali and Sadie.

Some may have taken the final appointment from a temporary to permanent assignment casually. 

For Wade, the promotion meant everything. 

“When the City put me into the position, I was very excited and honored, but humbled in a way because I was now able to fulfill a long time dream and that was to be the Chief of Police of Caney,” he said. “(It is) Just as my grandfather Elmer was back in the late 50s and because of this, I am thankful to the City Council for giving me this opportunity.”

But that does not mean that Caney citizens will be seeing much change in the way the police department operates now that Wade is officially at the helm. 

“What has changed now that I am the Chief of Police? I have to say not much and that is because for the past eight months, I have been running this department as if I was the Chief of Police,” Wade said. “The biggest change is that it is a big relief to the officers knowing who their boss is.”

It also raises the question from the public and Wade-supporters alike, what took so long to appoint him?  

Wade has learned much about city politics in his time. When asked the question, he just shrugged. 

“Well, I can’t answer that question, but I can say it has made me a stronger and more patient person because of that," he said, noting that he "very much looks forward to the challenges of the position" that he can finally call his own.

“People have always asked if it is hard working in a town where you have grown up. Well, the answer is yes at times, because the last thing you want to do is have to arrest or even write a citation to someone you know. The way I cope with this is by remembering something my mother always told me, and that was always treat everyone the way you would want to be treated. Always show them respect no matter who they are or what they have done, and always be honest and truthful to them," he said.

As always, he looks forward to one thing in particular, and that is "the privilege to work for the citizens of Caney."