District Attorney Emily Redman thought she was simply the guest speaker at a routine meal and meeting of the Freemason’s Durant Lodge No. 45 on Thursday.
As it turns out, she was the guest of honor. The group presented Redman its Community Builder Award, one of the highest honors bestowed upon non-Masons.
Durant Lodge No. 45 A.F. & A.M. leaders said Redman’s “outstanding and dedicated service to Bryan County” helped them make the decision to select her for the award. Redman serves Bryan, Coal and Atoka counties as the top prosecutor for Oklahoma’s District 19.
Before the presentation, Redman explained the fine points of the District Attorney’s office, its duties and role in county and courtroom affairs. Several members of Redman’s staff were present for the dinner, speech and presentation.
“District attorneys have a lot of power,” she said, emphasizing that prosecutors must respect that power. “When you decide to accuse (someone) of committing a crime, that’s a big deal.”
She explained the concept behind Drug Court, which she described as an “intense supervision program, just shy of the penitentiary” for “serious offenders on the brink of prison.”
Redman also told the Durant Freemasons about several aspects of the DA’s office, including offender supervision, Drug Task Force, prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault, “Project Safe Neighborhood,” the ABC House and the “Coordinated Community response Team.”
She also told of little-known aspects of the job, such as the prosecutor’s role in providing legal advice for county officials. Redman also said her office files approximately 2,000 cases per year in Bryan County alone.