Ben has dedicated a significantly large portion of his professional career and personal life to improving the lives of children. He served as the District Attorney for District Thirteen (Ottawa and Delaware Counties) for two terms. During that time, Oklahoma was implementing the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) system, which was designed to provide a facility to house and support multi-disciplinary investigations of child abuse and neglect cases. Ben so believed in the importance of properly handling those cases that his was the only multi-county district to organize a CAC in every county of the district. Ben
is still involved with the CAC of Ottawa County, serving as the legal advisor to the Board (the business portion of the CAC).
Both as D.A., and then as 1st Assistant D.A. under Eddie Wyant for twelve years, Ben personally handled the Deprived Juvenile Docket (protecting children from abuse and neglect), the Delinquent Juvenile Docket (prosecuting children that commit crimes) and the Truancy Docket (making sure that children are afforded the education to which they are entitled). In addition, Ben personally prosecuted the majority of criminal cases where children are the victims, ranging from murder, to physical abuse, to sexual abuse to neglect.
Ben served 15 years on the Commission on Children and Youth (OCCY), until he was term-limited out. The Commission is comprised of the Director of every state agency that deals with children’s issues (such as the Department of Human Services, Office of Juvenile Affairs, Department of Education, Department of Mental Health, etc.) and representatives of other organizations that deal with youth. Ben represented the District Attorney’s Council and served three terms as the Chairman of OCCY. The Commission is the state wide organization dedicated to the planning and coordination of state and local agencies and resources to deal with the troubles children face daily in Oklahoma. It also has oversight responsibility for all children’s facilities in the state and assists with developing legislative proposals related to children’s issues.
On the local level, Ben helped organize and is currently the Chairman of the Graduated Sanctions program which deals with youth that have committed non-violent offenses in a way that gives them the chance to correct their ways without court intervention. He has served as the Vice-President of Partnership for Ottawa County, Inc. (POCI), a community partnership to address local issues with youth.
On the national level, Ben served on a committee with the National Center for State Courts to help improve the system for notifications required under the Indian Child Welfare Acts. Under this program, Ottawa County and the Cherokee Nation served as the pilot program for the entire nation to work out the system to allow for e-notice, a much speedier, cheaper and more reliable system than what is presently used.
During his legal career, Ben worked as the attorney for many of the Tribes in the area. In fact, although neither he nor his wife Barbara are Native American, the Seneca-Cayuga Nation arranged for them to adopt both David and Ian, who are members of that Tribe.
Ben and Barbara are very proud of David and Ian. Both are graduates of Miami High School, Eagle Scouts and both served in the U. S. Army. David was an Engineer and the unit armorer with the Big Red 1 and is now working in Edmond. Ian was deployed to COP Zerok on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border where he served as a machine-gunner with the 101st Airborne (Air Assault). He also served in the National Guard and now lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Ben coached youth baseball and basketball when his sons were involved. He also served as the Cubmaster and then Scoutmaster of their respective Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop. He continues as the Committee Chairman for Boy Scout Troop 55 today. The Loring family is a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church where Ben has served on the Parish Council and as a lector and Eucharistic minister.
Ben was greatly honored when he was recognized for his life-time contribution to improving the lives of Oklahoma children by receiving the Alma Wilson Award from the Oklahoma Bar Association in 2013. Ben was also given the 2015 Liberty Bell Award by the Oklahoma District Attorney Association. Further, Ben has received the 2016 Public Safety Legislator of the Year Award from the Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus and the 2016 Legislator of the Year Award from the Oklahoma Chiefs of Police Association, both for his legislative work on public safety issues.