STILWELL, OK—The Cherokee Nation recently contributed nearly $37,000 to four Adair County law enforcement agencies.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner joined Adair County Tribal Councilors Shawn Crittenden and Canaan Duncan to present the checks to law enforcement officials. The donations were made from the Council of the Cherokee Nation’s allocation of annual law enforcement funds.
“The Cherokee Nation is proud to continue our support of our local law enforcement partners throughout the 14-county reservation,” Chief Hoskin said. “We have long been committed to assisting law enforcement officers by doing what we can to help them remain properly equipped and funded. These agencies are crucial in keeping everyone safe and protected on the Cherokee Nation reservation, and we appreciate the working relationship we have maintained with them for many years.”
The donations were made to the Adair County Sheriff’s Office, the Stilwell Police Department, the Watts Police Department, and the Westville Police Department.
“We are presently upgrading to a different reporting system as well as getting better technology for our officers,” Stilwell Chief of Police Chad Smith said. “This is a huge and welcomed surprise. We have to report to the state every incident that we do reports on. Every other department has upgraded and we want to use the same systems to be connected to see what every other agency is doing. We were struggling on how to pay for this reporting system. Well, now we’re not!”
The Adair County agencies also plan to use at least a portion of the funds for important training and equipment upgrades to help better serve their communities.
“It’s always good to partner within our communities, but having great partners in law enforcement is essential to protecting our reservation,” Councilor Duncan said. “We’re blessed with the best here in Adair County and this is a way to show our support and appreciation.”
Each year the Cherokee Nation contributes 20 percent of annual tribal car tag revenue to local law enforcement agencies.
Law enforcement funds are appropriated through annual budget legislation approved by the Council and signed by the Principal Chief. Funds are divided equally per Council district, with individual law enforcement agency allocations approved monthly by the Council at the request of local Council members.
“Our safety and peace of mind simply depends on these women and men,” Councilor Crittenden said. “If we can help them in any way, then I’m glad to be a part of supporting them.”
Aside from monetary donations provided to local law enforcement agencies, the Cherokee Nation also frequently donates surplus equipment, including vehicles, to agencies across the tribal reservation.