Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilors Keith Austin and Janees Taylor joined Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. to present checks totaling more than $55,000 to 16 Rogers and Mayes County law enforcement agencies.
CLAREMORE, Okla. — Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilors Keith Austin and Janees Taylor donated more than $55,000 to 16 Rogers and Mayes County law enforcement agencies during an appreciation breakfast at Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs Wednesday morning.
Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. joined the Tribal Councilors to thank law enforcement representatives, offer them words of encouragement and present them with individual donations.
“This event is about more than a monetary donation; it’s about the relationship we have with the men and women who serve and protect the people of northeast Oklahoma, both Cherokee and non-Cherokee,” said Hoskin. “The value of these partnerships is immeasurable, and I’m proud of Principal Chief Baker’s administration and Councilors Austin and Taylor for recognizing the vital role these agencies uphold day in and day out throughout the Cherokee Nation.”
This year, 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, and $1,000 to the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service.
“The cooperation of the local law enforcement, sheriffs’ departments, police departments, district attorneys and Cherokee Nation Marshal Service is a model to be celebrated,” Austin said. “I am proud to show our support with this annual breakfast and through our financial contributions.”
Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton said his department is using the tribe’s donation to purchase a new canine officer, which will be trained in a variety of skill sets. Walton said the new canine will benefit not only the sheriff’s office, but other departments in the area.
“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.”
Law enforcement agencies often use the annual funds to upgrade existing equipment or purchase new equipment that would otherwise be out of reach due to budget constraints.
“It’s imperative that our local law enforcement agencies are properly funded and equipped in order to keep us safe,” Taylor said. “The men and women who serve their communities in this line of work deserve our support, and I’m thankful we are able to work so closely to provide them with this additional resource each year.”
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.”
Twenty percent of the revenue from the Cherokee Nation’s motor vehicle tax is used to fund the annual law enforcement donations. Throughout the year, the tribe also provides surplus equipment to police departments and provides training opportunities for local agencies through the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service.
Cherokee Nation News Release
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