Concerns in Colbert over police staffing
COLBERT, Okla. (KTEN) — The Colbert Police Department is understaffed, with only one police officer — Mike Graham — on duty in this town of 1,100.
Another officer remains on paid administrative leave.
Business owners and residents have voiced concerns about safety.
Melenda Long, an assistant manager at the Lucky Stop convenience store, said she's been robbed almost daily.
"I've kind of tooken over and helped out for about a year now, and it's been ever since I had tooken over," she said. "I keep them out of this store, but they say after I leave, they try to come back."
Long said just last month she sent in video evidence of a robbery to law enforcement.
A few days later, a Colbert police officer just dropped off his business card and left. She hasn't heard from him since.
"It's like talking to no one; it's like hitting a brick wall," Long said. "They'll say that they're going to show up; or if Bryan County comes out, they'll tell you, 'Oh, it's Colbert's job; Colbert's going to investigate it.'"
The Bryan County Sheriff's office told KTEN they are providing assistance to Colbert police, but only on emergency cases.
"I gave the [surveillance] footage over to the mayor; I actually sent it to him and he gave it to our Officer Graham," Long said. "I don't know if anything was really followed up."
At this point, frustration is rising.
"It would be nice if they would help us out," Long said. "If we want to stay in business for this community — which we do — we need people to stop stealing from us."
KTEN reached out to the Colbert City Council; they chose not to comment on the police staffing issue.