The News-Record

The City of Picher has entered into an interlocal agreement with the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office for law enforcement coverage.

Council members approved the agreement on Tuesday.

Contingent on approval of the Ottawa County Commission, the sheriff's office will assume the responsibility of law enforcement coverage in the former mining town in an arrangement similar to what is now occurring in the Town of Afton.

“The City of Picher will be required to pay $2,250 per month to the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office, Undersheriff Bob Ernst said. “In exchange for this amount, the sheriff's office will cover insurance and workman's compensation of the deputies who would be working in Picher.

In addition, the City of Picher will compensate the officers at a wage rate of $9 per hour.

The proposal was made after the dwindling population of the former mining community forced law enforcement officers to seek employment in other communities.

“We advertised for full-time officers and received two applications, city clerk Carolyn Elmore said. “One of the applicants was not CLEET (Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training) certified and we didn't feel we could invest in having him certified.

All deputies working on a part-time basis for the City of Picher will be commissioned through the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office and all CLEET training and certification issues will be handled through the sheriff's office.

Deputies will be enforcing municipal ordinances and issue citations when deemed appropriate.