Nowata sheriff making moves at department with two internal arrests within the week

    Nowata sheriff making moves at department with two internal arrests within the week

    NOWATA, Okla. (KTUL) -- After years of drama in the town of Nowata, a new sheriff in town is quickly making a difference.

    She has fired two of her own employees within the week all to help right the ship at her department.

    It’s no secret Nowata has been in the news a lot mostly for the wrong reasons, but you could make a case that the tide is turning.

    “We will not have any type of corruptness," said Sheriff Terry Barnett.

    Sheriff Barnett is now in command. She was elected in November and already, by most accounts, is making big moves.

    “It’s not an easy thing to do to arrest one of your own," said Barnett.

    Last week, detention officer Colin Geeding was arrested, accused of stealing guns and other equipment from the department.

    And last night, authorities arrested Nowata County Deputy Robert Popp for using company money to fill up his personal gas tank.

    “We were able to obtain a search warrant for documents for the deputy’s residence," said Barnett.

    His girlfriend, Rebecca Stone, was also arrested, accused of having meth.

    Sheriff Barnett fired two employees from a department that really can’t afford to lose anybody; they’re now down to just three deputies.

    “When law enforcement entities are not properly paid what I consider properly, it does breed corruption," said Barnett.

    But when she’s not cleaning house at her department, she’s getting her hands dirty at her ranch outside of town.

    Working non stop to stock her firewood but also taking time to relax and watch those Oklahoma sunsets from her back porch.

    Barnett says her ultimate goal is to make her county safe and functional again.

    The last three administrations ended with two sheriffs quitting and another getting arrested.

    Barnett truly credits her volunteers for the success she’s having and says she plans to stick around for a long time.

    The sheriff says she will continue to hold her employees to a high degree, but for now, she cannot comment on whether or not any more arrests are imminent.

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