Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Whetsel Forms Dignitary Protection Unit

Sheriff John Whetsel
Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel is forming a "Dignitary Protection Unit" in his department to provide security for public officials who request it.

Whetsel said that in the wake of the assassination attempt in Arizona on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the formation of the unit is simply prudent: “Having uniformed law enforcement officers at a public speaking event held by elected officials is an important safety measure."

Whetsel said the unit will be staffed by volunteers and will provide security to members of Congress free of charge. He said it will be headed by veteran Sheriff's Lt. Bob Green.

“I think if Congresswoman Giffords had had a deputy at that event, the total of those shot certainly would have been lower. You would hope that the mere presence of the uniform would help stop the threat,” Whetsel said.

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