The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office has notified the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office they would be awarding a grant of more than $60,000 to aid in efforts to reduce violent crimes.
The Safe Oklahoma Grant is for the use for overtime hours and the purchase of body cameras. This is the second year the Sheriff’s Office has received money from the Attorney General’s Office.
“We are grateful for their continued support and the very generous funding they’ve given.” Sheriff Rob Frazier said.
Almost half, $30,000, of the money will be used to purchase body cameras for deputies.
“We had already begun the process of evaluating cameras and talking about ways to pay for them. We had applied for the grant but didn’t know if we would receive it. So, when they sent us the award letter late Friday afternoon, we were overwhelmed.” Frazier said.
The rest of the money, more than $32,000.00 will be used to pay deputies overtime to work in high crime rate areas.
“These areas are anywhere in the county, from the city limits of Muskogee to areas off I-40. Just anywhere we see an increase in violent crimes. The state’s giving us the money to bring the crime rate down and we plan to do just that.” Frazier said.
Muskogee County hosts a higher than normal crime rate for other counties the same size. According to Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation statistics, in 2017 Muskogee County had a violent crime rate of 39.4 per 1,000 residents and a population of just over 68,000.
This is the second grant the Sheriff’s Office has received this year. In July the Sheriff’s Office received a nearly $50,000 grant from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality to hire an enforcement officer to enforce environmental crimes. The Sheriff’s Office has also taken in more than $4,000 in private donations in the last month.