Interlocal agreement ensures community safety

The Sapulpa City Council approved the entry into an agreement between Sapulpa Police Department Special Enforcement Team (SET) and the Creek County Sheriff Office Habitual and Violent Offenders Crimes (HAVOC) to work together.

Creek County Sheriff Bret Bowling said the agreement “is an incentive for intelligence-based policing (IBP), which is our future. In order to promote and foster the principles of IBP, the Sheriff’s Office has formed a Task Force (Habitual and Violent Offenders Crimes).

“This is an Interlocal Agreement acknowledging that the Cooperating Entities (city and county law enforcement) will join efforts and resources to identify and apprehend criminal suspects through joint intelligence and investigative efforts.”

Sapulpa Police Chief Mike Reed said, “Members of the Sapulpa Police Department Special Enforcement Team (S.E.T.) have been working closely with members of the Creek County Sheriff’s Office Habitual And Violent Offender Crimes (H.A.V.O.C.) Unit for a couple of years now. This agreement will allow cross deputized SET members to follow up on investigative leads on joint cases outside the Sapulpa City Limits, without the need of having a deputy with them for jurisdictional purposes.”

Bowling said he plans to add additional Task Force members, if the Creek County agencies choose to participate. However, the process takes several steps.

Step 1: The Board of County Commissioners (after legal review) sign the Interlocal Agreement.

Step 2: The agreement proceeds to the city/town for legal review and council approval.

Step 3: The agreements signed by the BOCC and city/town are sent to the Attorney General’s Office for approval review.

Step 4: If the A.G. approves the agreement, the documents are filed with the County Clerk and the Secretary of State before it enters into force.

The City Council information says the interlocal agreement will make the most efficient use of both agency’s powers by enabling them to cooperate in order to provide services that will align with the community needs.

Task force members obtain information from traffic stops, tips, confidential informants, and information gleaned from our jail, other county jails and the state prison system as an example, Bowling said.

Sapulpa Police Officers have not yet been cross deputized with the Creek County Sheriff’s Office. Reed said initially SET will cross deputize two to three officers and up to five in the future. 

The Task Force agreement remains in effect for five years from the date it goes into force; however, any party may withdraw with a 30-day written notice.

The agreement was approved by Creek County Commissioners on Dec. 5, 2022. Sapulpa City Council agenda information said it will improve public safety through more effective investigation of criminal activities occurring within the boundaries of Creek County by detecting and apprehending offenders who have violated the laws of the State of Oklahoma.

“We are excited to move forward with this Task Force and work with all Law Enforcement agencies in order to keep our communities safe while reducing crime through intelligence-based policing,” said Bowling.