Team Ready To Protect Lawmakers, Dignitaries In Oklahoma County

Friday, March 4th 2011, 10:37 am
By: News 9

Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel says his agency's dignitary protection unit is assembled and ready for service.

Whetsel decided to form the unit after the assassination attempt on Arizona U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on Jan. 8. Six people died in the attack in Tucson, Ariz., and 14 others were injured, including Giffords.

Whetsel says his agency has the resources "to make every attempt to prevent a similar attack from happening in Oklahoma County."

The 20-deputy unit consists of volunteers and provides security for dignitaries who request it while in Oklahoma County. The unit's commander, Lt. Bob Green, says there are four teams.

Green says the unit has provided security for an event with U.S. Reps. James Lankford and Tom Cole and for a visit by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.