CCSO to open special account for its Department of Homeland Security Immigration employees, Sheriff to pursue more “intelligence-based policing”

At Tuesday’s weekly Board of County Commissioners meeting, Assistant District Attorney Andrew Goforth notified the Board that the Governor declared a State of Emergency on Sunday, February 7, 2021 to handle the severe winter weather the state is experiencing. 

There was a discussion amongst the Board and staff on tracking and keeping any documentation that might be required should FEMA choose to reimburse the County for various emergency-weather-related expenditures. 

District #1 Commissioner Newt Stephens explained that “FEMA has not given notice of any reimbursements at this time, but we want to be prepared.”

It was unanimously approved to open a new Sheriff’s Office account for the Department of Homeland Security Immigration (HSI) salary reimbursement and forfeitures fund. Sheriff Bret Bowling stated that he has three deputies currently working on this Task Force and they are hoping to utilize some reimbursement funds for their hours spent on joint operations. “We have an OSBI Agent that offices with us and we have partnerships with other State and Federal law enforcement agencies. We are working to get other officers commissioned for the Task Force and hope to add more in the future. This joint effort is part of the McGirt Ruling.” 

Bowling continued, “I have set a goal to go in the direction of ‘Intelligence-Based Policing,’ meaning, ‘work smarter, not harder.’ We are already seeing the benefits of having HSI-trained deputies, and having a team recognized for it is flattering and exciting for [the Sheriff’s Office.]” 

District #2 Commissioner Leon Warner asked if these deputies will only serve Creek County, and Bowling stated that no, they will serve other counties in Oklahoma also. Opening this account is “the first step in getting other grants like Safe Streets, that we are going to work toward in the future.” The Board asked if any other county is participating in this program, and Bowling stated that yes, Tulsa, Wagoner, and Sequoyah counties are as well.  

The bid for concrete work inside the Multiplex Barn at the Fairgrounds was awarded to Cornerstone Concrete Group, LLC for $47,665.00. The Fair Board reported that the lowest bidder was Weldon Construction, LLC at $46,335.00, but that they did not send the Bid Bond as required, they have no working knowledge with the vendor, and they were not familiar with any projects that Weldon has completed. 

They said that Cornerstone Concrete Group, LLC was the second lowest bidder and did properly submit the Bid Bond. Additionally, Cornerstone has completed other projects at the Fairgrounds and “a good working relationship” has been established between the two entities. 

Following their recent reelections, Fair Board members Perry Collins from District #1, Bob Pruitt from District #2, and Josh Enlow from District #3 will be reappointed to three-year terms. 

The monthly Allocation of Beverage Tax is to be distributed as follows: Bristow $3,453.85; Depew $390.10; Drumright $2,382.59; Kellyville $942.23; Kiefer $1,380.34; Lawrence Creek $123.03; Mannford $2,520.62; Mounds $957.24; Oilton $831.21; Sapulpa $16,834.16; Shamrock $84.02; and Slick $108.03. 

Warner and Smith voted to extend the emergency resolution due to the pandemic one more week. Emergency Management Director Covey Murray stated that as of Friday, February 12, Creek County had 366 active cases, 28 new cases, and 160 deaths. The previous Friday, February 5, there were 432 active cases, 28 new cases, and 157 deaths. “We are going in the right direction now,” Murray said. Warner agreed, and said he was encouraged by the new numbers. 

Regarding COVID-19 vaccinations, Warner confirmed that the program is still open for those 65 and older. He said that two additional Creek County locations have opened—one at Central Tech in Drumright and one at a church in Mannford. 

Walmart has announced they will have 40 Oklahoma locations offering shots for those in rural populations, however, “I am a little disappointed,” said Warner, that “it seems like they are going into more highly-populated areas like Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Enid,” and not in Creek County.  

Warner reiterated that he has heard from the public that “the communication from the Health Department with people who have vaccination appointments is not going well.” He said he has also had complaints of short notification of a site’s closure due to inclement weather.  

Stephens reported that First Deputy Dana Logsdon will be keeping the County Facebook page up to date with notifications and to please follow it for important information. 

Warner asked if the Courthouse will still open on the 22nd of February as planned. Goforth said that yes it will and that it will be “business as usual” for those who choose to appear in-person. He said that they “will also continue to offer remote court sessions for some time.”
E. B. Thompson

E. B. Thompson

Elizabeth Thompson is the News Editor for Sapulpa Times.