DURANT, Okla. (KTEN) — Choctaw Tribal Police held a ceremony Thursday naming Wayne Stanley and Zach Hendrix as regional captains.

"These positions were created, if you will, post-McGirt, and these were for standard control and supervisory positions," said Chief Jesse Petty. "These two captains will be commanders of those regions; that way we have a better span of control and a tightening up of supervision."

Because of the McGirt ruling, Petty explained that the reach of tribal police has extended.

"That opened up approximately 11,000 square miles per area of operation for Choctaw Nation Tribal Police to service," he said.

Both Stanley and Hendrix worked their way up the chain of command.

"I started out with Choctaw Nation as a patrol officer," Hendrix said. "For the past eight years, I've been in the criminal investigation division, so I was in investigations for that time, and then I was able to promote into the captain's spot."

"I've been with the Choctaw about 10 years now," Stanley added. "Waiting to step up and take some more responsibility, so it was nice to be able to get this started."

With around 103 tribal police on the force and only three captains, there's a need for help on tribal and non-tribal law enforcement.

"We find it absolutely necessary to continue those relationships and forge those cross-steps, because we all partner within the communities we help augment other law enforcement agencies," Petty said. "And it's vitally important that those other agencies assist us, because we are spread out in our area of operations."

Hendrix and Stanley are both ready to get started in their new roles.

"I never thought I'd get this high in the organization, but as we've grown in the past few years, opportunities became available, so it worked out great," Hendrix said.

"Got into it when I was about 23 or so, about the same time I was in the military," Stanley added. "It's been a duty of service ever since, but yeah, this promotion is kind of special."