People living in Nowata County will have a new sheriff in two days. Voters elected Terry Sue Barnett to take over the job after investigators recently arrested Sheriff Kenny Freeman for embezzlement.
Folks in Nowata county said there are good days ahead. News On 6 sat down with newly elected Nowata County Sheriff Barnett to hear how she plans to turn things around.
Terry Sue Barnett has decades of experience with the Tulsa police department and security details in Oklahoma and abroad. Friday she will be sworn in as the newest sheriff in Nowata county.
"I was contacted by some individuals here in Nowata County who said 'would you meet with some of us to consider running for sheriff and I said no, I'm not interested. I'll help you find somebody, but I'm not interested’," Barnett said.
But after two weeks of thinking about it, she changed her mind.
"My answer was 'no' but then I thought, ‘if you have the experience and you live in this county and you don't step up and help then you're part of the problem’," Barnett said.
There have been some problems in Nowata County recently. OSBI arrested Sheriff Kenny Freeman last month on one count of felony embezzlement over how he passed out some donated school supplies. Freeman will remain sheriff until Friday when Barnett is sworn in.
"My goal [to] have an honest law enforcement personnel and we will have integrity and we will be held accountable for our actions," said Barnett.
Barnett said other goals include updating training for deputies and getting better law enforcement coverage for the county.
"I appreciate the fact I've had different agencies reach out and tell me we will be there for you to help," Barnett said.
But Barnett said change isn't going to happen overnight
"I just ask they be patient with the changes because changes are coming, and they will be for the betterment of Nowata County. It might take a while, but it will be there," Barnett said.
Barnett is set to be sworn in Friday evening at 5:01 p.m.