The Muskogee Police Department and the Cherokee Nation Marshals signed an agreement Monday allowing their agencies to help each other out in times of need.

The memorandum effectively "cross-deputizes" the Muskogee Police Department with the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service.

"With our cross-dep agreements, we're able to call on the individual cities and counties to help our officers when they need assistance," Captain Danny Tanner, Cherokee Nation Marshal Service, said.

This means Muskogee police officers and Cherokee Nation marshals can cross each other's boundaries and assist on calls for help, and even go into court and testify or seek charges.

"When you have some type of catastrophic situation take place, you can't have enough help," MPD Chief Johnny Teehee said.

Muskogee Police Chief Johnny Teehee said this partnership isn't necessarily new.

"We've always worked well with the Marshals any time they've needed help, or we've needed help," he explained. "It's been something we've done anyway."

Teehee said it will also be a big benefit when serving the Cherokee Nation's Three Rivers Health Center located in the heart of Muskogee.

"There was a delay in getting help there when needed," he said. "We have the ability to respond within minutes because we're already here on scene."

Cherokee Nation leaders said the collaboration will not only benefit Cherokee citizens but non-Cherokees as well.

Chief Teehee says the contract is effective immediately.