Owasso Neighbors Go To Bat For Increase In Sheriff's Office Funding
ROGERS COUNTY, Oklahoma - People living in some Rogers County neighborhoods said they're tired of being targets of crime.
They say deputies are doing the best they can but are just stretched too thin and want county commissioners to give the sheriff's office more money to hire more deputies.
Jason Muse said they've been dealing with for years. He lives in Stone Canyon, a neighborhood trying to stop "crimes of opportunity,” like break-ins.
"A lot of the residents here and in Rogers County feel helpless, that there's no way to stop the break-ins," Muse said.
There are roughly 90,000 people living in Rogers County. The FBI recommends about 225 law enforcement officers among all the agencies in the area for a population that size.
Based on that Muse believes there should be 135 deputies at the Rogers County Sheriff's Office to help fill the gap. Right now, there are 22 deputies on patrol.
"To give them 135 deputies for over 700 square miles of land is not an outrageous number," Muse said.
Jeff Brant also lives in Stone Canyon. He came to today's county commissioners meeting to talk about his concerns.
"We're not having any patrols at night, and the bad guys are just moving in on us," Brant said.
He says since 2012, his cars been broken into twice, and people have tried to break into homes in the neighborhood.
"We're having to be the eyes, because the officers aren't there," Brant said.
Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton says it's a legitimate concern.
"They're breaking into cars and even houses that are occupied," Walton said.
He says they're requesting two additional patrol deputies but even that will be a hard sell.
"I've been in office for 10 years, when I got here I started asking for more people and more cars, 10 years later I'm still asking for more cars and more people," Walton said.
The commissioners couldn't take any action today because the issue was not on the agenda, but they did speak with Brant.
The county is expected to take up next year's budget at next week's meeting.