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Washington County

Posted: Jan 17, 2022 8:02 PMUpdated: Jan 17, 2022 10:50 PM

Sheriff Owen Talks Property Crime, More at GOP Meeting

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Garrett Giles

From property crimes to training, Washington County Sheriff Scott Owen addresses the Washington County Republican Party.

Sheriff Owen spoke to party members gathered at Crossing 2nd in downtown Bartlesville on Monday night. He says property crimes are not letting up throughout Washington County.

According to Sheriff Owen, a majority of the property crimes are driven by substance abuse. Sheriff Owen says some of these criminals will fund [their addictions] however they see fit, while others are just professional takers. He encourages you to call the Washington County Sheriff's Office or your local police department if you see something suspicious in your neighborhood.

Calling your local law enforcement agencies gets them on the case immediately. Sheriff Owen would encourage you to keep serial numbers and photographs of your property on record in case you become a victim of property crime.

When talking about training, Sheriff Owen says the Washington County Sheriff's Office (WCSO) has invested in a cellphone scanning system. Owen says the WCSO's two investigators are currently training with this device. He says this system will allow the WCSO to legally utilize cellphone information in prominent cases via warrant.

Sheriff Owen says the WCSO wants to use this to its advantage to help prosecute child sex crimes, sex crimes, protective order violations, and financial exploitation. Owen says this device is key because they will not have to send phones they confiscate out of their offices. He says they may be able to extend this cellphone scanning service to other agencies at a later time, too. Training could take 60 to 90 days to complete.

The Bartlesville Police Department (BPD) has a similar device. Sheriff Owen says if the BPD is back logged with cellphones, the WCSO normally has to take its cellphones to Tulsa or Oklahoma City to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He says this will be used to expedite criminal cases for taxpayers in Washington County.

Sheriff Owen says the WCSO has trained and used the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program to its benefit as well. He says they were able to crack down with federal agents on a few child pornography crimes in Copan, Dewey, and rural Washington County. To read more on this, click here.

The WCSO is training several potential reserve officers throughout northeast Oklahoma. The training started in October 2021. Sheriff Owen says approximately 10 reserve officers are set to graduate in March 2022. We spoke with Sheriff Owen on this reserve academy in early-January. More on that story here.

During his presentation, Sheriff Owen noted that the Washington County Detention Center is nearly 11 years old. Owen says the building is in great condition. He says the jail goes through an annual inspection as the Washington County Commissioners tour the facility. That inspection is yet to happen in 2022. On top of this, Sheriff Owen invites you to tour the facility for yourself.

The WCSO's Thanksgiving and Christmas giving programs were also a huge succes in 2021. Sheriff Owen says seeing fewer people request food baskets last year was a bit surprising, yet they were still able to feed roughly 15 families. Owen says what funds they didn't end up using for their Thanksgiving program went directly to their Christmas gifts for families in need. He says 102 kiddos received presents this year.

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