Sheriff plans extra patrols around rural schools

·2 min read

Jul. 26—Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris plans to use funds from a state grant to help pay overtime to deputies conducting extra patrols around rural schools.

Morris is submitting a Safe Grant Application for 2023 to the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office, seeking a $35,000 grant to help bolster patrols and the sheriff's law enforcement presence around the county.

The sheriff's grant application states the money would be used to pay for extra hours and patrols to high crime areas, including locations of known violent crimes, narcotic activities and registered offenders, along with the extra patrols around rural schools.

"With the world the way it is and all the activities around rural schools, this presence around the schools would be a good thing," the sheriff's grant application states.

Morris said he applies for the grant on a regular basis.

"We've been doing that every year," Morris said. Funds received through the grant are typically used to help pay overtime costs to deputies as they increase their presence and add extra patrols in rural areas.

Morris maintains the Safe Grant funds distributed through the Oklahoma Attorney General's office are beneficial in a couple of ways.

"It's very helpful," Morris said. "These guys don't make a lot of money," he said, so the Safe Grant funds allow deputies to work the extra hours for overtime pay. It's also beneficial to county residents because of the extra patrols by sheriff's deputies, he said.

Pittsburg County commissioners approved the sheriff's grant application, so the next step is for the sheriff's office to submit it to the Oklahoma Attorney General's office. Following processing and approval of the application, the Safe Grant fund should be sent to Pittsburg County.

"It should come in by September," said Morris.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.