Fairland PD is one of only two Oklahoma agencies in the state selected to get this grant. They competed against agencies from across the country and is one of 33 recipients nationwide.
The U.S Department of Justice awarded nearly $180,000 to the Fairland Police Department. Through this initiative, they will be helping victims of crime.
“It covers anything from minor offenses, such as you are a victim of having something stolen out of your vehicle, and then major crimes such as homicide or sexual assault,” explained Fairland PD Chief Aaron Richardson.
The department will receive the funds over a three-year time span.
The money will help pay for a crime victims advocate. The advocate helps victims in the court process, get restitution, provide transportation to court for hearings, and find counseling services
“There’s not much for us available in northeast oklahoma. There are a few agencies in the area, a few tribal agencies that do have victim’s advocates, but they are few and far between,” Richardson added.
Mayor John Finnell says this will be a valuable asset to the town.
“When crimes are committed, our police go out and they respond. We have a great police department,” Finnell explained.
But, he says with these new resources it create even more opportunities.
“They’ll be able to help the police department follow up, do a better job, and make sure we are more thorough,” Finnell added.
Finnel is hopng this helps improve the town’s growth.
“Anything that we can do that will bring more people into the town shows people we are trying to improve our community. Safety is always a big deal when people are looking for a town to live in,” said Finnell.
Not only will Fairland residents benefit from the services the grant provides, but neighboring towns as well. For example, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office does not have a crime victims advocate, so they will be able to use the advocate as well.