On June 2, the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office was notified that it had received a much-needed personnel grant that will add $275,000 to the department to pay salaries and benefits for two new patrol deputies for three years.
The grant is from the U.S. Department of Justice and has officially been named “Operation Relentless Pursuit,” which, coincidentally, is the same tagline that Sheriff Larry Lane has used to refer to the sheriff’s office’s “relentless pursuit” of drug dealers in the county. The DOJ announced that the awards were included in the $51 million in funding that was announced in May as part of Operation Relentless Pursuit.
Lane said Investigator Cindy Smith, who is the sexual assault/child abuse investigator for the sheriff’s office, also serves as the department’s grant writer. Lane bragged about what a fantastic job Smith has done in getting the department grants.
“Cindy is the hardest worker we have. She never slows down and she excels at whatever job she is tasked with. I don’t know how she does it. The sexual assault/child abuse investigations are never-ending and extremely stressful and time-consuming, yet she handles them efficiently and professionally and still finds time to write our grants.”
Lane said that since he took office in 2017, the sheriff’s office has been awarded 14 grants for a total of $680,432. “I’m very excited to be getting the two additional deputies. We are one deputy short right now with the one that’s injured and out on workers’ comp leave. So hopefully we will receive the funds soon.”
Smith said, “I am so pleased to be awarded this grant."
More than 1,100 agencies nationwide applied for this grant, and 596 of them were awarded, 18 of which were in Oklahoma and only two of those were sheriff's offices (Rogers and Sequoyah counties).
Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer
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