CN gives $138K to local law enforcement agencies

BY STAFF REPORTS
06/18/2018 04:00 PM
HULBERT – Cherokee Nation officials recently distributed $138,400 to 27 law enforcement agencies that patrol within the tribe’s jurisdictional area.

CN officials recently gave $15,000 and $10,000 to the Hulbert and Okay police departments, respectively.

According to a CN press release, the Hulbert funds were provided through the Tribal Council’s annual law enforcement funds. Tribal Councilors Joe Byrd, Rex Jordan and David Walkingstick each dedicated a portion of their allocated funds.

“This donation means a great deal to me and my department,” Hulbert Police Chief Casey Rowe said. “Our budget is so short and it’s such a small department that having this extra $15,000 helps us make it through the year. I don’t think our department could make it without it. It’s a great thing.”

Okay Mayor Bradley Mathews said the $10,000 donation helps fund a contract with the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement service in the community.

“When we get assistance like this, it goes toward meeting our goals and what our community expects to be provided,” Mathews said. “Without the help of the Cherokee Nation, there are a lot of things we wouldn’t be able to do, and this is just one more example of that.”

Aside from monetary donations provided to agencies, the tribe frequently donates surplus equipment, including vehicles, to police departments and sheriff’s offices.

Tribal Councilors Keith Austin and Janees Taylor also recently distributed more than $55,000 to 16 Rogers and Mayes counties law enforcement agencies.

Austin distributed $3,500 each to Rogers State University police, Oologah police, the Rogers County Sheriff’s Department, Chelsea police, Claremore police and the 12th District Attorney’s Office. He also contributed $1,750 each to Collinsville, Verdigris and Talala police departments.

Taylor distributed $3,500 each to Locust Grove police, Pryor police, Mayes County Sheriff’s Department, Rogers County Sheriff’s Department, Salina police, Inola police and Chouteau police. She also contributed $1,750 each to Verdigris police and Claremore police, as well as $1,000 to the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service.

Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton said his department is using the donation to purchase a canine officer that would benefit not only the sheriff’s office but also other area departments.

“County law enforcement is kind of at the bottom of the food chain when it comes to funding for our needs, so I don’t visualize being able to make it without partners like the Cherokee Nation,” Walton said. “With the Cherokee Nation’s donation, we are able to purchase some of our core, fundamental needs. We’re so blessed to have these kinds of community partners, and the tribe is always there for us and listening to us.”

Mayes County Sheriff Mike Reed said his agency is upgrading its communications equipment by purchasing 800 megahertz radios for deputies.

“It means a lot to us to receive Cherokee Nation’s support,” Reed said. “We appreciate what the tribe provides us.”

Tribal officials also distributed $58,400 to law enforcement agencies in Tribal Council districts 5 and 6, which encompass all of Sequoyah County and part of Muskogee County.

Of the $58,400 distributed, the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Department received $12,000, and the Braggs, Gore, Marble City, Muldrow, Roland, Sallisaw, Vian and Webbers Falls police departments each received $5,800.

For Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane, partnerships with the CN are an important resource.

“Anything we need, we know we can call the tribe, and they are always great to work with,” he said.

Twenty percent of the revenue from the tribe’s motor vehicle tax is used to fund the annual law enforcement donations.

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