Muskogee County commissioners signed off this week on two measures that will help Sheriff Rob Frazier complete an upgrade his office's fleet of vehicles and continue efforts to combat violent crime.
Frazier said a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help fund the purchase of three new vehicles that will be used by investigators. The USDA Rural Development grant, he said, requires a 25 percent match.
Commissioners approved a one-time expense of $150,000 as part of the county's budget for fiscal year 2018 that provided Frazier with the means to purchase new patrol cars for the office. Remaining payments for that acquisition, Frazier said, have been made from regularly budgeted funds.
"Commissioners gave us that first payment, and the rest of it we paid out our budget," Frazier said. "When we get those (three additional vehicles), our fleet will be complete with new vehicles."
MCSO also was awarded a $30,000 grant from the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office. Frazier said the award for fiscal year 2020 through the Safe Oklahoma Grant, will be the third such grant awarded.
The program, established in 2012, is funded by annual legislative appropriations and is available to all eligible local law enforcement agencies and sheriff's offices. The grants are made for a one-year period with the intended goal of providing additional resources to combat violent crime.
Frazier said funding from the grant is used to help offset the cost overtime for deputies who "saturate some of the violent crime areas" while patrolling the county.
"It's proven that it works," Frazier said. "We are happy that we got it again."