From left, Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane, Dispatcher Meghan Patton,
Deputy Randy Taylor, and Under Sheriff Greg Cox.
Deputy Steven Jenkins, left, and Sheriff Larry Lane.
Several members of the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office have received statewide recognition for their hard work and accomplishments over the past year.
Deputy Steven Jenkins was named K-9 Officer of the Year by the Oklahoma Association of Narcotics Enforcers. This was the second time Jenkins has won this award.
In addition, the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association named dispatcher Meghan Patton its Dispatcher of the Year. Deputy Randy Taylor was the recipient of the Life Saver Award from the sheriff’s association.
“These three were nominated for their outstanding service to our sheriff’s office as well as to Sequoyah County,” Sheriff Larry Lane said. “None of us do this job for the money, recognition or fame; they all do it because they love the job and love serving the people of Sequoyah County, but once in a while it does feel good to get recognized and appreciated for the work you do,” Lane added.
“Our sheriff’s office is gaining statewide notoriety for our aggressive work against drugs and violent crime.”
Jenkins has been a deputy for six years and is regarded as one of the best highway criminal interdiction officers in the nation. In the past year, Jenkins has seized more than $250,000 in drug money, along with several pounds of methamphetamine and marijuana being transported through the county. “The cash that has been seized by Deputy Jenkins has to go through the forfeiture process then is eventually divided between the district attorney’s office and the sheriff’s office. We can then use these funds to pay for vehicles, specialized equipment and training,” Lane noted.
Patton has worked in dispatch for 10 years and is now the dispatch supervisor. “Meghan is dedicated to her job; she’s a great asset to us and to the people of Sequoyah County. Dispatchers often go unnoticed and unappreciated. They are behind the scenes, answering phones and communicating on the radio. They have to remain calm in the most hectic and stressful of times, and Meghan is one of the best I have ever worked with,” Lane said.
Taylor has been with the sheriff’s office for two years and has been in law enforcement for a total of nine years. “Randy is a good, conscientious, hard-working deputy. He loves his job and does his best to help people when called on,” Lane said.
In the letter nominating Patton, Lane praised her work ethic and her ability to remain calm under pressure. She often works her regular shift as well as additional shifts so other employees can take vacation or sick leave, Lane said.
Patton recently orchestrated a huge transition that combined the sheriff’s dispatch and the 911 center into one central dispatch location, Lane said, adding that “I don’t think the merge of 911 and our sheriff’s dispatch could have been possible without (Patton). She is one of our most solid and reliable employees and she has the respect and admiration of all of our deputies and employees.”
In the Taylor nomination letter, Lane described the events of April 22, when the deputy responded to a call about an overturned vehicle that was on fire with a woman and a child trapped inside. Taylor and Sallisaw police officers immediately tried to free the two. As the flames grew bigger, Taylor got a fire extinguisher out of his vehicle to fight the blaze.
Once the fire was suppressed enough, officers began breaking out the vehicle’s windows and cutting seat belts to free the two. Once the occupants were brought to safety the vehicle burst into flames and became totally engulfed.
People at the scene, Lane noted, said that if not for the heroic actions of Taylor and the Sallisaw officers, the two trapped victims probably would have died.
“They exemplified courage, character, self-sacrifice and the willingness to go above and beyond to put themselves at risk by helping others,” Lane wrote.
Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer
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