The Muscogee Creek Nation Lighthorse Police are getting an extra $2.3 million added to their budget this year.
The police chief said currently they have 63 officers, but he anticipates doubling--even tripling--that number with the number of cases they’re seeing after the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on tribal jurisdiction.
Police Chief Richard Phillips said the increase in money will be great to help build his operation at Lighthorse Police, but he said what he really cares about is using this money to help neighboring law enforcement agencies.
Chief Phillips said one of his big plans is to have four different police stations covering the 11 counties within their jurisdiction, with officers stationed at each one.
He said he plans to re-establish their dive team, their swift water rescue team, and build a special response tactical team.
He said he is working on also getting drones for the department to use for not only for them, but also to assist other agencies in the area.
Chief Phillips said the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding tribal jurisdiction has greatly increased the work load, but he said the partnership with other agencies has been great.
He said they have 60 people from other departments who are cross deputized and expect to increase that.
“We want to be that good neighbor,” said Chief Phillips. “Should another agency need the drone or whatever resources we have, we want to be that good neighbor to reach out, hey we need a boat, whatever we need by all means feel free to contact us. It doesn’t matter the size or shape of the badge. Or color of uniform. We are all a team.”
Chief Phillips said they will use some of the money to give pay raises to current officers with the department.