Acting Oklahoma County Sheriff PD Taylor continues his tour of unincorporated areas of the county to talk about “recent budget decisions out of his control.” Those decisions, he says, could jeopardize patrols in rural areas of the county, including Luther.
He will host a public meeting on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, at the Luther Community Center at 6:30 pm.
The Luther Register covered the issue in a story last month.
Because of a recent budget action, Oklahoma County Acting Sheriff PD Taylor says he has a fight on his hands to keep those patrols in and around Luther. “I am willing to stand and fight and do the right thing for the citizens and my employees.”
His office sent out a news release today following a meeting last week in which county elected officials kept the OSCO budget flat, denying a requested $803,000 increase that was agreed upon by a county budget team. That meeting was covered in Nolan Clay’s article in newsok.com, “Acting Oklahoma County sheriff lashes out after being denied extra funding for jail operations, other expenses.”
Taylor does not have a seat at the actual budget voting table with the other elected county officials such as each of the three commissioners, county clerk, treasurer, court clerk and assessor. The district attorney also gets to vote on the budget but did not vote last week, according to the newsok.com story.
Taylor does not get to vote because he is not elected. He is the acting sheriff and is running to be elected September 12, against democrat Mike Hanson to succeed former Sheriff John Whetsel who retired earlier this year.
Oklahoma County Clerk David Hooten responded to Taylor’s concerns, “I am confident the Sheriff’s office will have sufficient budgetary resources next fiscal year to maintain their services at present levels,” but was concerned that more resources and attention should be given to many problems at the Oklahoma County jail.
Taylor has held similar public meetings in Deer Creek and Newalla. OSCO provides patrol and presence in rural areas, and mutual aid, dispatch and other services to smaller communities. Responding to newsok.com, Larry Stein who represented the Oklahoma County Assessor’s office at the meeting, said having county employees in cars in these areas presents injury risks and worker’s compensation issues.
If you can not attend, The Luther Register will cover the public meeting and broadcast on FB Live. Please comment below if you have any concerns or questions about the issue.