Opening Our Eyes to Public Safety Needs

By State Rep. Mike Sanders

I had the honor of riding along for a major drug bust in western Oklahoma. At approximately 6 a.m. Aug. 20, nearly 100 agents and officers from several departments fanned out across Custer and Comanche counties armed with arrest and search warrants for members of an organization responsible for distributing large quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana in our part of the state.

These brave men and women put their lives on the line to keep drugs off our streets and protect our children. During this expedition, I saw firsthand the danger that these individuals put themselves in. I was absolutely impressed with their professionalism, their bravery, their passion, and their commitment. I was also amazed at some of the locations of the arrests, with one major player arrested 20 yards away from an elementary school.

This past year, conservative lawmakers worked hard to protect public safety in the budget. After seeing them in action, I would like to redouble my efforts to ensure this area of government is held harmless during budget cuts. I am going to do everything that I can as a member of the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Public Safety.

I would also like to reiterate the connection between drug cartels and illegal immigration. State lawmakers must find ways to pick up the slack that the federal government has left to us. Arizona’s strict new law sent a message to cartels and there is evidence that they have moved into other states, including our own. We must also send a message that deters them.

We’re not going to be open to business in Oklahoma when it comes to drug trafficking. I want to commend the brave law enforcement agents who took part in this sting and the investigation led by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics that led to these arrests.

I will be traveling through the district during the interim and will keep you regularly updated on the ideas and problems presented to me by constituents. As always, I would love to hear from you. I can be reached at the Capitol at (405) 557-7407.

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