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May 23, 2014

Weir fires back following Minco mayor comments


A recent column by Minco Mayor Watson Mitchell has created a schism between his city and the Grady County Sheriff's Office.

Watson states Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir ordered him to put cross commission papers - essentially an inter-local agreement - on the city council's agenda. Watson said he responded by throwing Weir's "order" in the trash. 

Weir responded to Mitchell's allegations with a letter of his own. 

"His statement that I sent cross commission papers with 'orders' for him to put them on the agenda is not true,'" he said. "I took the same action that I did with every other city and town in our city."

Mitchell went on to state he believes Weir wants power over all police departments in the county. 

Weir said he does not believe Mitchell understands the documents he was presented, or state law. 

"First, my deputies and I have the authority to enforce state laws anywhere in the county, including inside the municipalities of our county," he said "These agreements simply give his officers more authority to react to emergency situations." 

Weir said many Oklahoma sheriff's will not enter into inter-local agreements due to liability risks. 

"I am willing to run that risk, as I trust law enforcement and believe the agreements are in the best interest of the citizens of Grady County," he said. 

Mitchell also referenced the duties of the Minco police in his letter, stating insect related calls should be referred to the housing authority and for police to respond if it is a medical or police related issue. 

"But if the Grady County Sheriff's Department wants to check for spiders at 2 a.m., or try to stop telemarketers from calling, feel free to. We do have a mutual aid agreement, so if the spider is too big for them to handle, feel free to call Minco PD for backup," Mitchell concluded. 

Weir said at this time Minco does not have a current mutual aid agreement with his office, but the municipality's citizens can still call the sheriff's office for assistance. 

"In light of these recent comments from the mayor, and my lack of trust in the chief of police, I do not feel comfortable at this time entering into the aforementioned agreements and will be withdrawing my request," he said.

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