ROGERS COUNTY, Okla. - With local sheriff’s office short staffed, residents in Rogers County are taking it upon themselves to make sure their neighborhoods are safe.
One resident, Donna Valento, says when crime hits her neighborhood, it can take hours for deputies to show up.
“There was one time, there was shots fired out here, I called Rogers County, couple of my neighbors called Rogers County it still took them two hours to get here [sic],” said Valento.
Sheriff officials said four or fewer deputies at a time serve 90,000 residents over 700 square miles. Now, deputies are asking more residents to keep an eye out for suspicious activity by expanding its neighborhood watch program.
“Essentially we’re asking them to be the eyes and ears for us,” said Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton.
Deputies said they’ve recently seen an increase in crime in the western part of the county.
“Most of our residential neighborhood thefts are the trailer got stolen out of the yard, car got burglarized in the driveway, someone let the garage door open,” said Sheriff Walton.
They said with neighborhoods exchanging contact information, using social media and keeping a watchful eye, residents are already helping fight crime. Valento said that’s exactly what her neighborhood needs.
“It would just help if we were actually able to link to all of our neighbors closer around here not just the one’s that are like next door, behind and in front, but blocks away to where we’d be more aware of what’s going on,” said Valento.