Nowata Courthouse Janitor Appointed Sheriff
NOWATA, Oklahoma - Just a few weeks ago, Kenny Freeman was the courthouse janitor; now, he's Nowata County's top lawman.
Freeman was a deputy before he was fired under a previous administration; last week, he was appointed the sheriff.
Freeman has been working for the Nowata County Sheriff’s Office for about 18 years. He says he's done everything from being dispatcher to Patrolling county roads, and now, he's adding Sheriff.
"That's one thing I'm striving for is to become great,” he said. “Be one of the good guys here."
Sheriff Freeman hit the ground running after his appointment to last week.
"Not only are you working here at the desk but you're working out in the field, taking those reports like everyone else does,” said Freeman.
Former Sheriff Sandy Hadley previously said she retired because financial concerns were so limiting. But, Freeman says he's up for the challenge.
"I think we are going to be okay as far as personnel and being able to make it to the end of this fiscal year,” said Freeman.
He says four deputies walked out on him on his first day. He's worked quickly to fill those positions and hopes to hire more people soon.
“I'm starting in-house first with basically jailers and dispatchers,” Freeman stated. “They were on 12-hour shifts and I'm trying to get them back to an eight-hour shift, which is slowly but surely getting there.”
Sheriff Freeman has worked for the sheriff’s office for 18 years and confirms that a former sheriff fired him.
"I was wanting to go one direction and he was wanting to go the other, and he decided he didn't want me around,” said Freeman.
Sheriff Freeman has held several other positions in Nowata County from a heavy equipment operator to a courthouse janitor.
"I figured, either way, at least I'm serving my community,” he said.
Despite some community concern, he says he's ready to serve.
"Been doing this a long time, I think I'm a trustworthy person everything,” said Freeman. “I do it legal. I don't do anything that's not by the books.”
Right now, Kenny Freeman is the appointed sheriff of Nowata County. If anyone wants to run for sheriff, the county election board says you have to file by April 13th.