Cherokee Nation Donates $15,000 to Craig County Sheriff’s Office

Craig County Sheriff Heath Winfrey demonstrates the department’s new GeoSafe GPS software to Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Tribal Council Deputy Speaker Victoria Vazquez.

Published March 2, 2018

VINITA, OKLAHOMA – The Craig County Sheriff’s Office is using a $15,000 donation from the Cherokee Nation to keep first responders and community members safe with state-of-the-art GPS software.

Sheriff Heath Winfrey is using the funds to purchase GeoSafe, a software that allows police, fire and medical responders throughout Craig County to quickly access critical call data on their mobile devices while in the field.

Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Deputy Speaker of the Tribal Council Victoria Vazquez visited Winfrey and his staff to deliver the donation and tour the sheriff’s office on Wednesday.

“This donation from the Cherokee Nation is a game-changer for our department, but also for others in Craig County,” Winfrey said. “The biggest thing it does is create interoperability for all of these county agencies. If we ever have a police officer, firefighter or paramedic in trouble, anyone using this software can look at their map and respond. It’s a unique system for us and will take dispatching from just putting a call out on the radio to the next generation of dispatching. In rural communities, these softwares are hard to come by.”

Vazquez, of Welch, chose to donate the money from Tribal Council funds specifically earmarked for law enforcement projects.

Craig County Sheriff Heath Winfrey demonstrates the department’s new GeoSafe GPS software to Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Tribal Council Deputy Speaker Victoria Vazquez.

“As a tribe, I believe we’re doing all we can to help as many people as we can, and this donation is just another example of those efforts,” said Vazquez. “The day-to-day issues faced by the Craig County Sheriff’s Office and other first responders in this area are worthy of our support, and at the end of the day, I know this new software is going to help keep the public safe and save lives.”

The Craig County Sheriff’s Office is currently working with a trial version of GeoSafe and with the Cherokee Nation donation will soon transition into using the complete software package.

“I want to commend Deputy Speaker Vazquez for setting aside this funding to help support the men and women serving Craig County each and every day,” Hoskin said. “These agencies have a vital role in keeping our communities safe, and they need all the help they can get to do their jobs quickly and efficiently. It’s important that the Cherokee Nation continue to partner with agencies here in Craig County and elsewhere throughout the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction.”

Aside from providing real-time GPS tracking of on-duty first responders, GeoSafe also allows agencies to create personalized maps of fire hydrants, storm shelters and other important sites. The maps are available to those using the software on smartphones and tablets.

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