Canadian County Sheriff Chris West announced earlier this summer that he was forming a Sheriff’s Posse, and developed a link on his office website to take applications. Within the first 24 hours his office received over 500 online applications, many of which lived outside of Canadian County, and some from people even outside of Oklahoma. Since that time, West and his staff have worked through the applications, trimming it down to only Canadian County residents. Those people were recently sent an Email from the sheriff’s office containing a registration link to attend one of five Citizen Posse orientation training sessions.
West states the primary objective of the Citizen Posse is about educating citizens about the work his office does, and assisting residents with establishing networks within their communities. West says he’s working to coordinate the Citizen Posse into community groups, most likely by the town or the city the members live in. The sheriff said he hopes the Citizen Posse will ultimately be able to work independently of his office, identifying needs and performing acts of benevolence and support for citizens who might find themselves in need. West says the idea first came during his 2016 run for sheriff when people asked how they could get involved, or volunteer to help the sheriff’s office, and other citizens in their communities.
West said he began thinking about it more in the summer of 2019, and contacted an attorney to help him create a foundation dedicated to law enforcement training and performing acts of benevolence, and named the foundation “The Oklahoma Sheriff’s Posse.” In conjunction with organizing the foundation, West has been developing procedures and curriculum to get the Citizen Posse up and running, and is ready to begin orientation training.
West believes and hopes that the Citizen Posse and his foundation will be able to work together to identify and help provide support to his agency, and to the people living in Canadian County. West confirms the citizen posse is not a militia, or even a law enforcement unit, but rather a group of citizen volunteers who can be activated to help in scenarios such as looking for lost children, a tornado response, search and rescues, silver alerts and other situations that might occur.
“I’m really excited about the unlimited potential and impact of the Citizen Posse to our county. I believe in the power of people working together, and believe the sky is the limit when people come together for the common good of the community,” said West.
To date, West says over 170 people have registered for the Citizen Posse orientation training which is scheduled for the month of October at locations in Piedmont, Yukon, Mustang and El Reno.
~ END ~
Canadian County, OK