NOWATA, Okla. -- Officers said it's the third poorest county in the state of Oklahoma, and the budget for all of Nowata was less than a million dollars last year.
On Wednesday the newly elected Sheriff Terry Barnett met with law enforcement from across Green Country. They're working to find a solution for the department, whose previous leadership was embroiled in controversy for some time.
"I think they really want to see Nowata get their law enforcement on the right level so we can stand up with the rest of the counties," Barnett said.
The main concern for the sheriff is the safety of her team. Barnett tells 2 Works for You it's a limited amount of deputies to look out for one another, and the majority of patrol cars are unreliable.
"We had one injured... two weeks ago. He was hit by a truck. So he's probably down for another week or two. So that left me with three," Barnett said.
Elected by a landslide just last week, the sheriff immediately put together a mutual aid agreement with Rogers County to use their reserves. One deputy said they may get called out as they're leaving work, or in the middle of the night.
"You get up and do your normal job during the day and then if there's nothing going on that you're scheduled to go do then you hang out and wait for a call out," Deputy Chris Pate said.
Wednesday night law enforcement from Tulsa to Kansas brainstormed possible solutions to help Nowata with everything from manpower to crumbling jail conditions.
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