New Nowata County Sheriff Reaches Out To Other Agencies For Help
NOWATA COUNTY, Oklahoma - Newly elected Nowata County Sheriff Terry Sue Barnett has been in office for less than a week and she's facing a number of issues.
So, she's asking neighboring departments to help her get the county back on track.
"When we are asked to jump in we do it,” said Rogers County Reserve Deputy Tim Reed.
Reed is one of several Rogers County reserve deputies who is working to help patrol the roads in Nowata County while Sheriff Terry Sue Barnett works to hire staff.
"Sheriff Walton knew that he could count on us to come over here and help Sheriff Barnett out in this county's time of need," said Reed.
Nowata County entered into a mutual aid agreement with Rogers County in order to use some of their reserve deputies to help get the county back in order. But a manpower shortage isn't the only issue Sheriff Barnett is facing.
"This sheriff’s office has to be rebuilt from the ground up. You can't get around it," said Sheriff Barnett.
“She walks in with most everything being an unknown. What equipment she had. What vehicles she had to operate. Pretty much everything has to be built from ground zero," said Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton.
Sheriff Barnett says she wanted to create a transition team to get advice from sheriffs from surrounding counties. She says she has so many questions regarding patrol cars, jail maintenance, and even the budget.
"This is a new experience for me and I'm calling on other guys or other sheriffs or other law enforcement officers who have already walked this road to help me because I need their help," said Sheriff Barnett.
"We share all the same problems, and a lot of the same bad guys so tonight I hope we can help establish something here that can help this community,” said Sheriff Scott Walton.
Sheriff Barnett says she knows this isn't something that can be fixed overnight so she's hoping the community will be patient with her as they continue to move forward.