STILWELL – The Cherokee Nation recently donated nearly $ 37,000 to four law enforcement agencies in Adair County.
Chief Cherokee Nation Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner joined Adair County Tribal Councilors Shawn Crittenden and Canaan Duncan to present checks to law enforcement officials . The donations were made from the annual allocation of annual law enforcement funds by the Council of the Cherokee Nation.
“The Cherokee Nation is proud to continue to support our local law enforcement partners across the 14-county reserve,” Hoskin said. “We’ve long been committed to helping law enforcement officers by doing what we can to help them stay properly equipped and funded. These agencies are essential to ensuring the safety and protection of everyone on the Cherokee Nation reserve, and we value the working relationship we have had with them for many years.
Donations were made to the Adair County Sheriff’s Office, Stilwell Police Department, Watts Police Department and Westville Police Department.
“We are currently upgrading to a different reporting system as well as better technology for our officers,” said Stilwell Police Chief Chad Smith. “It’s a huge and welcome surprise. We must report all incidents that we report to the state. All the other departments have been upgraded and we want to use the same systems to be connected to see what all the other branches are doing. We were struggling to pay for this reporting system. Well, now we are not!
Adair County agencies also plan to use at least some of the funds for important training and equipment upgrades to better serve their communities.
“It’s always good to partner in our communities, but having great law enforcement partners is essential to protecting our reserve,” said Duncan. “We are fortunate to have the best here in Adair County and this is one way to show our support and appreciation.”
Each year, the Cherokee Nation contributes up to 20% of annual tribal car tag revenue to local law enforcement agencies.
Law enforcement funds are allocated by an annual budget law approved by the Council and signed by the Chief Chief. Funds are split evenly by council district, with individual law enforcement agency allocations approved monthly by council at the request of local council members.
“Our safety and peace of mind just depends on these women and men,” said Crittenden. “If we can help them in any way, then I am happy to participate in their support.”
In addition to monetary donations provided to local law enforcement agencies, the Cherokee Nation also often donates surplus equipment, including vehicles, to tribal reserve agencies.