New domestic violence-themed cruiser joins the Ottawa County Sheriff's fleet in a joint effort to raise community awareness and display easy access to resources.
MIAMI – The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office has a new stand out in its vehicle fleet. Unveiled Friday, Oct. 13 in front of the historic Coleman Theatre in downtown Miami, the purple wrapped cruiser is aimed at bolstering awareness and prevention of domestic violence.
Nationally October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the Community Crisis of Northeast Oklahoma (CCC) has again coordinated community activities and campaigns this year to help steer attention to the issues and resources surrounding domestic violence.
From the CCC headquarters at the Fern Holland Advocacy Center, 118 A St in Miami, executive director DeeDee Cox explained what her organization had planned for the month and how the idea for a car wrap came to be.
"The idea came from Ottawa County Sheriff Jeremy Floyd. He approached us with the idea of a car wrap as a collaborative effort, and I was so thrilled," said Cox. "I still have his letter following our meeting and plan to frame it. It is a truly wonderful thing to have outreach from the Sheriff's Office. We were so excited to do this."
When asked what inspired him to propose an awareness car wrap Floyd said he was aware of similar initiatives by law enforcement agencies around the county and when thinking about the needs of the community domestic violence was an issue that his office confronted nearly daily.
"I've seen other Sheriff's Departments around the nation use different themes, and it is important that domestic violence is educated to the people. It is an important topic and affects everyone in our community," said Floyd. "So I reached out to them (CCC) and asked if they would be interested in sponsoring something like this and we partnered together, and here we are today."
CCC was able to coordinate sponsorship for the car wrap through local realtors NEO Realty Group, 225 E Steve Owens Blvd, and Susan Rhodes Real Estate, 224 E Steve Owens Blvd in Miami.
David Davis with NEO Realty, who also serves on the CCC Board, reached out to his colleague Susan Rhodes about the sponsorship opportunity and together their agencies donated the funds for the wrap. Both were in attendance for the unveiling Friday.
"I'm on the Board at the Community Crisis Center and was made aware of the need," said Davis. "I was visiting with Susan, and we decided to do it from a unified front from our industry, from real estate."
"It is a very worthy cause," added Rhodes.
Allen Sign, 307 E Central Ave, placed the wrap which is a stylish design of deep purple and silver and displaying key phrases related to domestic violence and most importantly the 24/7 crisis hotline number, 1-800-400-0883.
The cruiser will be driven by Sheriff's Deputy Lt. Jesse Krewson, who said he was proud to be a part of the initiative and praised the finished product.
"I think it looks great," said Krewson. "It's really sharp and for a good cause."
Domestic Violence in Oklahoma
According to the CCC, every 9 seconds in the U.S. a woman experiences domestic violence, and a third of all domestic violence homicides are witnessed by children.
Oklahoma ranks 6th in the nation for women killed by men in domestic violence altercations, and 49 percent of women and 40 percent of men in the state have experienced domestic violence.
Serving northeast Oklahoma CCC provides local support to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking at no cost. Services include an emergency shelter, legal assistance, counseling resources and access to rehabilitation services for offenders.
For more information about Domestic Violence Awareness Month or available resources through CCC call 918-540-2775 or visit www.getmeout.org.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the CCC 24-hour hotline at 1-800-400-0883. Advocates are always available.
Dorothy Ballard is the managing news editor of the Miami News-Record. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on twitter @dm_ballard.