A Rogers County town is without its police force, after an officer and another staff member tested positive for COVID-19, sending the rest of the department into quarantine as a precaution.
Town administrator Kenney Weast said he wants to make it clear that if you call 911 in Chelsea, you'll still get help. Other agencies in the area will be patrolling until the department is back on the streets.
The town of Chelsea is about 20 miles northeast of Claremore, and home to about 2,000 people. Typically, the town's police department of eight officers would be out patrolling, but after an officer and a staff member tested positive for COVID-19, they're all working from home.
"Except I've got two officers currently working 12's taking calls when need be, and they're working from home too. Still very viable, just not physical," Weast said.
Town administrator Kenny Weast said the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Cherokee Nation Marshals, and Rogers County Sheriff's Office are helping them out. Those agencies will be taking all emergency calls, working accidents, in-person reports and patrolling the streets in town.
"For myself, the board, and the Chelsea Police Department definitely appreciate their help," Weast said. "It's truly tremendous and I hope that our community understands how they're stepping forward to help us too during this time."
Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton said there were already agreements between the agencies to help each other out.
"Now with the experience of the pandemic and COVID-19 and all the things that we saw in 2020, and we never thought of when those agreements were signed, but the agreement covers that," Walton said.
Weast said they've feared since March an outbreak could occur within their tight-knit police department, but he said they'll overcome this temporary setback.
"When you call 911, someone is going to be there for you," Weast said. "It might not be Chelsea Police, but we've got all the other agencies helping us, and they're tremendous agencies, and they've stepped up huge."
Weast said the officers will be quarantined until at least next Friday, when they'll review the situation.