Cherokee Nation District 14 and 15 Tribal Councilors Keith Austin and Janees Taylor celebrated Law Enforcement Week on Thursday, hosting the third annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Breakfast in the Turf Room at Will Rogers Downs. Following the breakfast, each agency received a donation to assist with law enforcement efforts. The donations totaled a little over $67,000.
Officials from over 15 agencies in Rogers and Mayes counties attended the event, and were treated to a buffet breakfast and a short program. Cherokee Nation Marshal Shannon Buhl spoke to the group about how the Marshal Service can assist local law enforcement. Many of the agencies have cross-deputization agreements with the tribe.
“Our Marshal Service covers 9,000 square miles and we have 31 officers,” said Buhl. “We rely on the partnerships with our cross-deputized agencies to cover a lot of territory. But that’s not all we want to do. We want to assist you, as well.”
According to Buhl, the Marshal service has a nationally accredited dive team they can activate for use by area agencies, as well as personnel and equipment for high risk warrant situations. They also offer training opportunities, and all are no cost to the requesting agency.
“Our [Tribal] Council is pro-law enforcement and pro-rule of law,” said Buhl. “They are very motivated to assist our community partners.”
Councilor Taylor is a strong supporter of law enforcement, and wants to help fill in gaps when necessary. She has been working closely with the DROP Task Force of Mayes County to mitigate opioid abuse.
“Those of us at the Cherokee Nation take the opioid epidemic very seriously,” said Taylor. “It is a scourge on our communities and families, and we want to help any way possible.”
Councilor Keith Austin recalled the donation he and Taylor made to the Claremore Police Department to purchase Narcan, a drug used to revive overdose victims.
“We try to be creative in understanding how best to help with changing needs of law enforcement,” said Austin. “I remember shortly after Claremore Police Chief Stan Brown received his shipment of Narcan. He called me, relieved, saying his officers had just saved a man’s life. This did my heart a lot of good and we are grateful for you.”