Claremore Daily Progress
August 1, 2012
Sheriff’s Office seeks funding for cameras
Rogers County Sheriff’s Office is requesting funding for additional camera systems after Tera Mattingly posted accusations against the department on Facebook.
Undersheriff John Sappington went before the Rogers County Commissioners with thousands of documented posts to the site.
Sappington’s request was simple: to fully fund the budget of the Sheriff’s Office in order to provide funding for the purchase of additional camera systems.
Currently the office has limited cameras available to deputies, according to Sappington.
The request for funding would be for approximately $200,000 to purchase body cameras and dash cameras for all deputies.
Sappington explained that the recent issue with Mattingly prompted more than 50,000 visitors to the Rogers County Sheriff’s Facebook page and set off a media storm.
“The issue was resolved when the video was released to the media,” Sappington explained.
Mattingly accused deputies of harassing her and refusing to help her after she became locked in at Oologah Lake.
The event occurred on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer Park after Mattingly ignored warning signs resulting in the gates to the park being locked with her still inside.
Mattingly, her teenage friend and 5-year-old daughter were locked in the park at sundown.
Due to her frustration, Mattingly rammed the gate and attempted to drive around a barrier.
The Rogers County Sheriff’s Office was called to the scene and that is where Mattingly’s story became inconsistent with the video.
The video cleared the deputies of the accusations Mattingly posted.
Sappington explained to the commissioners how important this technology is today and how it could not only save lives but also prevent frivolous legal action against the department.
“This is not a budget friendly task, but it is the best direction for the department,” Sappington said.
“This could save someone’s life,” Commissioner Dan DeLozier said.
Commissioner Mike Helm also clarified that this request would require a fully funded budget for the Sheriff’s Office.
Sappington agreed that they would not have the funding for the cameras without it.
No action was taken on the item and Sappington said it could take three months to get the equipment.
Sappington will continue to research the product until the item is added to the agenda and approved by the commissioners.