The Sequoyah County Sheriff's Office and Webbers Falls Police Department will get a share of more than $1.3 million in Safe Oklahoma Grants, a state official announced Friday in Midwest City, Okla.
The program helps the selected agencies target crime in their communities, upgrade antiquated equipment or purchase new resources, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said, according to a news release from his office.
Sequoyah County will receive $35,000, and Webbers Falls will get $20,000, the release states. More than $1.3 million will be distributed among 22 chosen recipients for 2017, which include the Oklahoma City and Tulsa police departments and the Muskogee County Sheriff's Office.
“One of the first steps to making communities safer is to help our law enforcement partners by providing additional resources for better equipment or to fund innovative strategies on community outreach,” Hunter said. “This grant has proven to have a tremendous impact in reducing crime across the state.”
Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes, who was among the law-enforcement officers to join Hunter at the announcement, said in the past three years, his agency has seen the crime rate in Midwest City drop substantially.
“The grant has made a significant difference in the way we are able to protect the public,” Clabes said. “We have been able to make much needed improvements in all areas from purchasing new equipment, to paying more officers overtime to patrol in areas we know are trouble spots. The physical presence of having an extra patrol car or an officer on foot is one of the best crime deterrents.”
Safe Oklahoma Grant recipients are chosen from among law-enforcement agencies that submit proposals to the attorney general’s office outlining how the funds will be used to reduce crime, the release states. Grants are awarded on a one-year basis, and renewal is not guaranteed.