Welcome to OnsideBuffalo - "OnSide" Buffalo Oklahoma - Buffalo Blog -of the town of Buffalo Oklahoma

Late Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson said,
"It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error."

This blog is for people to share their thoughts and ideas on things of interest in this town of Buffalo Oklahoma.

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Local Crime Sprees Capture Our Attention

The recent local crimes that have been occurring in Buffalo have captured the attention of its townsfolk. Some recent postings on various Facebook(FB) walls and statuses have been generating some comments, ideas, suggestions, along with the usual blaming and bashing of one another. Nevertheless, some different possible solutions have been generated on various FB accounts. I find it very challenging to follow along with various thoughts coming from all of these different FB pages that are out there. Some people may or may not have FB friendships or privileges to see what is being discussed from the various FB outlets.

In summary what is being said is that we have a shortage of Law officers and that is directly impacting the crime increase that we are seeing locally. There is no argument there. The recent crime sprees point to this as being quite evident. The solutions to cure this dilemma are where the discussion becomes cloudy at times. Given that a shortage of manpower exists the fix would seem to lean towards more manpower. Herein the cloudiness of this topic develops.

It is being written that the Harper County Sheriffs Office (HCSO) cannot enforce any of the city ordinances that the Town of Buffalo has on its books.

Via their FB this question was asked of the HCSO “but is curfew a city ordinance issue?” of which they responded “Yes it is a City Ordinance issue. We can not act on it.”

So given that their hands are tied because they “can’t act on city ordinance violations” shouldn’t the first order of business, and one step in fast tracking towards a solution to part of the problem, be to enter into an interlocal agreement with the Town of Buffalo for the immediate time being that will allow the HCSO to enforce city ordinances?

This agreement should always be in existance no matter what the status of manpower is at the time. It should be renewed annually whether or not there is a contract for police coverage for the town by HCSO. It should be renewed annually if even a city police dept exists or not in Buffalo.

The Town of Buffalo has no police but they have ordinances that could help curb some of the vandalism that is happening within the city limits. The HCSO has manpower that has its hands tied. Lets remove those cuffs so they can be used where they are needed. 


  1. It is my understanding that it wasn't that the HCSO could not enforce the town ordinances but that the HCSO would not enforce the ordinances-It was too much trouble. Therefore, the town board felt that a major component of law enforcement in the town would be absent. SO, should the town of Buffalo hire the HSCO? What good will it do-We will still have the same problems and the town will be out of a lot of money!

    1. It's my opinion that an intelocal agreement should exist at all times for zero dollars between the T of B and HCSO to help get the riff raff off of the streets. The county officers need to be able to put the heat on these kids violating curfew inside the city limits. And their parents. Right now the claim seems to be there is a free for all and the HCSO can't do anything about it. Give em the tools so they can and maybe it will turn out that this is not a manpower issue after all.

    2. Hi Susan. When we had the contract, the Sheriff's Office did enforce city ordiances in the town of Buffalo. Part of what you said is true though. The Sheriff's Office told the city that we did not want to enforce stray animals such as dogs, cats etc unless the animal was violent because we are not equipped with a dog cage to pick up the stray dogs in town. Also we did not want to go around and write tickets to the public because their tree limbs were hanging down to far. As far as the other city ordinances such as loud music calls, curfew violations, fireworks, etc we did enforce and write tickets on these issues. Also if someone can help me clarify something, why did we hire a guy from Laverne to be our city ordinance enforcer? Also why won't he come over and write tickets to those popping fireworks especially knowing that there has been fires started from them.If he lived in Buffalo it would be way better and more convienent to the public. So again we did enforce the serious ordinances in town. It may not seem like it but Buffalo is way to big to not have a city police department. Look at Laverne. Laverne does not have near the problems Buffalo has because they have police officers patrolling their streets at all times. What if Laverne decided to have the same attitude that Buffalo had and said, "Lets just save some money and do away with our police department and just let the Sheriff's Office worry about it". Then their crime rate would go way up just like Buffalo has. Some people complain that we spend to much time on Hwy 270 but those people need to do their homework and they will see that the traffic accidents have declined by over 50%. We have also taken over 550 Lbs of marijuana off that same Hwy plus $232,865.00 in cash that was illegal drug money that paid for three new patrol cars not costing the taxpayers any money.We have made numerous felony arrest off Hwy 270 ranging from drugs, loaded firearms etc.Don't get me wrong, I love our town here in Buffalo but we owe the rest of the Harper County Citizens the same police services that we owe Buffalo. Without a police department in Buffalo I want the citizens to look at this very serious. If we have one deputy on at night which is all we have and if that Deputy is busy on the other side of the County and a domestic takes place or if your home gets broken into at 1:00a.m. while you are in bed and you call 911 because you need an officer right away it will take that deputy over 30-45 minutes to get to your location. By that time the damage is done and will be to late. The bad guy could have hurt you and your family or worse he could have killed someone and still had plenty enough time to get away before our deputy shows up. Plus this puts the deputies life in danger because he going to be driving as fast as he can to try and get to your home to protect you, where as if the City of Buffalo would hire their own police department officers back the response time could be only seconds or just a few minutes. As for the crimes that have been happening in Buffalo lately I will tell you that all of us deputies have been working long hours to investigate these crimes which take time. Even though the public as well as the sheriff's office has a good idea who committed the crimes we still have to put all pieces of the puzzle together so that nothing gets thrown out in court. I can assure you that arrest will be made on these crimes but I will not say when since it is still under investigation. I feel that the city needs to sit down and decide what is more important, a police department to keep us safe or use the money else where and hope noone gets hurt or killed because our deputy took to long to respond. Again we are not Buffalo Police Department, we are Harper County Sheriff's Office. To me it is not a hard decision. Greg you say that we should contract with the city so we can act on city ordinances but the City of Buffalo has hired a city ordinance person so why aren't they holding him accountable to do his job?

  2. Hi Derek,
    Wow. That was a long one. Now do not fall down - I agree with you.....Mostly.

    I can't respond about the requirements for the ordinance officer.... he was hired way after I left.

    However, I was on the board when we instituted a Police Department. I voted for it and still stand behind that decision. I have no idea why we no longer have officers. Do you know if there was ever an OFFICIAL vote to close/shutdown the police department or did it just cease when the last Chief resigned?

    This makes for some interesting pondering. If an official vote to close the PD was NOT made then the Board just needs to advertise and hire new officers. Does anyone know the answer to that?

    Also, if they did not officially close the department doesn't that leave the town open for liablity since they have given an expectation of law enforcement by establishing a PD and then not staffing it?

    Derek, can we just agree to disagree on the old contract? It was written specifically with wording so that the SO didn't have to enforce dog ordinances. We even hired a dog catcher. It was agreed that the city workers would look out for trees and trash stuff and the SO would only serve notices. Yes you did enforce several of the disorderly type of ordinances. However, the problem isn't about what did or didn't happened then..... it is about now.

    Why was the PD not kept up?

    You know, I would never have even stepped back into this mess - but... just like when I was living here full time alot of people in Buffalo have called me to ask questions about what was discussed and what we should do...I still have a home here, family and a business. I do care... I am concerned... but -

    We have to do this chronilogically. First things first: Was the PD Officially, by being posted on an agenda and voted on during an open meeting - officially closed?


  3. Hi Susan how are you doing? Here is what I know. They had two Officers, Randy Nailon, and Shawn Stoddard as the Chief of Police. Officer Nailon quit because he was offered a different job as a police officer in Seiling, Ok.After he quit that left just Shawn to cover the town by himself with no days off so he was on call 24/7. Shawn asked the board to hire another officer but for whatever reason they denied it and said they were going to leave it to just him. As you can understand Shawn got burned out which I would have too and he went back to the EMS fulltime. After he quit the board never came to us and asked us about contracting or asked us if we would cover long enough for them to hire another officer. Basically we went months not knowing anything. Sheriff Drew then proposed another contract at a cheaper rate than the 1st one and the board tabled it for several months. Finally they voted on it and they voted against a contract with us. To my knowledge there was never an official meeting stating that they were going to close the police dept unless they did it at a later time.

    1. Also I want people to know that Sheriff Drew is not all about money and only wanting money. It takes alot of money to run our dept. Marty has made it clear to all of us to cover Buffalo as much as possible. But then when we spend more time in Buffalo the citizens throughout the County complain because they don't see us anymore and that we only care about Buffalo which isn't true. That puts us in a hard spot when we try to keep all the citizens happy which we owe them the same amount of coverage. Thats why we would like to see Buffalo hire some police officers so we can be out in the County. Buffalo knows that we will always be there for them if their officers need help just as we do for Laverne and Laverne does for us. The scary part is that we are afraid that someday someone in Buffalo will need us right away and we may be on the other side of the county. That could also possibly be a legal matter if something happened because Buffalo wouldn't hire a police officer. If we had enough Deputies to keep in Buffalo I could assure you that we would but we do not have enough deputies. People have to understand that we have to maintain our jail and thats alot of work. Taking inmates to court and back, transporting inmates to and from other facilities, transporting inmates to medical doctor appointments, etc.

  4. Derek,

    The PD was not closed, ever. On your contract - according to the minutes from TOB. It was presented in July, August, September and October - with no action taken at any of them. There is no "record" of a vote being taken to contract or not contract. It was - each time - listened to but not acted on.


  5. You are exactly right. Everytime we went to the board to discuss with them police coverage in town they would always end it with "Thank you" and again no action taken!! This problem really needs to be resolved sometime soon. We have had lots of incidents over the past three weeks where a deputy was needed in Buffalo and he couldn't get there right away because he was on another call in different parts of the county...