New Pawnee County Sheriff-Elect ‘Humbled By Opportunity’

Wednesday, November 4th 2020, 9:13 pm
By: Kristen Weaver


There will be a new sheriff in Pawnee County next year as Darrin Varnell beat Mike Waters who has been sheriff for ten years.

“I always wanted to be in law enforcement my whole life," Varnell said.

Sheriff-Elect Darrin Varnell has worked in law enforcement since 1998 all over Green Country. He worked at the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office starting in 2011 and is currently Jennings Police chief and head of security at Tulsa Transit. Varnell won the sheriff race with 59% of the vote.

"Law enforcement is an ever-changing field, it's changing daily," Varnell said. "We’ve got to be able to keep up with those changes with policy, equipment and being creative with funding.”

Varnell said some of his goals are to have 24-hour patrol by shifting around schedules.

“Crime never sleeps," Varnell said.

He also wants to see active patrolling to crack down on drugs and other related crimes, and he wants to secure grants to upgrade their department and purchase things like laptops for deputies’ cars.

“Save fuel, save time and get those guys right out there," Varnell said.

Current Sheriff Mike Waters has worked for the sheriff's office for 24 years, 10 years of that as sheriff. He said he’s proud of big accomplishments like opening the new jail.

In a Facebook post he said, “I know that God has a plan. It has been my pleasure and an honor to be called your Sheriff. I can say that it has been a dream for me to serve you.”

Varnell said he’s ready to hit the ground running.

“I appreciate their trust," he said. "I'm humbled by the opportunity to do this.”

Varnell starts the job in January.