I begin my day late. Gotta take my kids to school. It’s almost 8.
I’m due at the Office by 8 o’clock for the morning ‘Roll Call.’ Gonna have to give Sheriff Niles a heads up. Late on the first day. Awesome first impression. That’s how my first day as a “Deputy for a Day” started.
I arrived at the Garfield County Courthouse and miraculously found a parking spot. Although, has anyone else noticed how much easier parking is down there now with parking since they redid the County parking and Broadway between the courthouse and the post office? I digress.
I get to the office and meet everyone. Sheriff Niles assigns me a morning partner to ride the west side of the county with. Deputy Momsen. We fuel up and head out. We begin by patrolling the streets of Waukomis. From there, we hit the highway and meander our way towards Bison and on from there towards Drummond.
Drummond proved to be quite interesting. Deputy Momsen took me to the local high school and showed me something they had done for the Sheriff’s Office. They had given the Sheriff’s Office space in the high school for a substation. The GCSO was still in the process of getting it outfitted, but I could see how it would be beneficial for them to have a base of operations in the western part of the county. For Drummond Schools to step up and offer that up was a great deal.
After the school, Momsen took me to another part of Drummond and explained how tight-knit of a community Drummond was and how they banded together. Everyone seemed to know everyone and they would often take care of each other when the need came up. Such was the case, when we pulled up to our next stop. He explained to me that they had been working very hard to help a woman and her daughters. They were living in their car, next to the house they used to occupy. Yes, you read that correctly. I had a lot of questions, but my jaw was mostly on the ground. We got out of the car and my jaw dropped even further. Their car was full of filth. How the daughter in the backseat had room to move is beyond me. In fact, I could not see her. Only movement.
The mom rolled down the window and conversed with Momsen about the possibilities of getting located into a home. He asked her if she had eaten and had fuel. After discussing things, we left. Momsen began answering my barrage of questions. The house where they were parked apparently used to be theirs. It was full of stuff in much the same way the car was (I shuttered). The mother refused help in getting it cleaned or fixed. While the weather was nice the day I was out with GCSO, it was horrifying to think about the three of them battling the cold on a bad night. Apparently, they did use the car on occasion to stay warm and they would also run an extension cord from the house for a small heater. However, maybe the most horrifying thing was finding out that the mother, who was in her 70s, was responsible for her daughters well-being.
That all gave me a bunch to ponder. You really do get to think about how well you have things. Not just by having a roof over your head or having a computer to type news on for people to read. No, sometimes just having average mental health is a blessing.
It was time for a new ride for me. Momsen and I had covered much of the west and south-western portions of the county…all in half a day. We met up with my new partners on Southgate Road.
My new ride was with K-9 Deputy Darryl Beebe and his K-9 partner, Barry. As I settled into my seat in the Tahoe, I couldn’t help but notice it was covered with a replacement seat cover and the seat was uneven. “Yeah, that’s Barry’s handiwork. He got upfront and ate the seat,” Beebe stated. “He likes eating seats. He ate the Sheriff’s seat on his gator too.”
Once we got on the road, he also warned me about my hands. “Don’t put your hands near the cage. You might not get to keep them,” he said. “Really?!” I said. “Yeah, he can get you pretty quick.” I made it my mission to at least talk to Barry now and then to make sure he knew I wasn’t a seat cushion or something to eat.
We patrolled the southeast part of the county.
Riding around with K-9 Deputy Beebe and Barry is a unique experience. With each stop, part of me kept hoping that Barry got to get out and search a car or something. However, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) that wasn’t the case. We rolled down state highway 74 and all of a sudden, a nice, red Corvette crossed the center line, right in front of us. We had to wait for traffic, but once it cleared, we whipped it around and eventually caught the Corvette. I stood, wondering to myself, “Drunk maybe…Texting?” Nope. I wasn’t even close. It turns out, he was tuning his engine with his laptop and was looking at it and making an adjustment. WOW.
We made our way back closer to the Enid area. Guess what we found out by the airport? Some of those annoying out-of-state steak salesmen. I didn’t see them, but Beebe did. Again, we flipped around and pulled them over. A quick check to see if they were permitted in Enid and Garfield County. Nope! And to top it off, one of the salesmen had a warrant out on him. Unfortunately, when GCSO called the warrant in, the county that had the warrant said they didn’t want to come pick him up. In those cases, they release them. In fact, the guy with the Corvette had the same situation. His was out-of-state and they also didn’t want to drive all the way to Garfield County, Oklahoma to pick up ONE guy. So back on the streets they go. Unfortunate, but that’s the system.
A quick-lunch with the Sheriff and some deputies at Barnstormer’s at Woodring Airport was on tap next. If you don’t know about Barnstormer’s or have not eaten there, I highly recommend it. It is one of my favorite spots that is a bit out-of-the-way in Enid, but well worth it. Plus, the view is amazing and it’s only going to be better once the runway expansion is finished.
We took Barry to the Garfield County Detention Center so he could get out and stretch his legs and relieve himself. I have to tell you, at this point, we had driven around for a long time and I was wondering how Barry held it for so long. My dog would have already wanted to go outside twice in that time at LEAST. I am not kidding when I say that Barry…well, he urinated for a good minute SOLID, maybe longer. Once he had concluded his…uh “business,” K-9 Deputy Beebe rewarded Barry with a little game of fetch. I grabbed the camera and caught Barry chasing the toy and bringing it back. As I was watching Barry retrieve the toy in my lens, the image of him kept getting larger. I finally realized he was bringing ME the toy. I knew I wanted no part of that. I hopped in the truck probably faster than I could move under normal circumstances. Barry stopped in his tracks and looked sorta bummed.
Before I got out of the Tahoe the last time, I asked Beebe if he really thought Barry would take my hand off if I tried to pet him through the cage. “Maybe. Depends on his mood.” I had talked to Barry off and on all day. I felt like I could trust him. I started talking to him and stuck my hand up by the cage. He approached me. I reached in and pet him. He seemed to enjoy it and wasn’t timid. Score one for me.
At that point, we returned to the Garfield County Courthouse, which is the home of the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office. At least for now. Very soon, they will be moving to a new office out on Oxford on the edge of the County Fairgrounds. The facility will be a major upgrade in space and modernize the office a bit. It will also link them with Emergency Management. Recently, a radio tower was erected to help in communications.
I think what people fail to realize about the Sheriff’s Office is…well, what they do. I was only with them for a day and I only received a glimpse. They serve warrants, they patrol, they go to each town in the county (and check on people like the woman in the car with her kids), they help Garfield County Emergency Management during storm season, they are police, they are highway patrol, I am sure they do things that I can’t even imagine. And here’s the thing….they are looking for a deputy. And that’s why I was deputy for a day.
If you’re interested in being a deputy for more than a day, here are the requirements.
• Must be at least 21 years of age
• Must be able to pass a criminal background check. No one may apply who has been convicted of a felony or crime of moral turpitude. Must have a strong ethical standard.
• Must be in good physical health and pass a drug screening
• Must be full-time CLEET certified peace officer, in good standing
• Must be able to work nights, weekends and holidays, subject to on-calls several times a month
• Ability to work 12-hour or more shifts
• Must live in Garfield County
Salary $2950.00 a month, for the first six months, then $3000.00 a month afterwards Deputies work various divisions from courts/transports, civil, patrol and investigations. Benefits: Paid insurance for the employee, paid sick leave, paid vacation, OPERS retirement.
For more information, and how to apply
come by the
Garfield County Sheriff’s Office
114 W. Broadway