NORMAN — Cleveland County Sheriff Joe Lester took the oath of office for a second time last week in front of a standing room-only crowd at the Cleveland County Courthouse.
Judge William Hetherington Jr., of the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals, officiated the ceremony Wednesday in the county commissioners’ meeting room. Lester was elected sheriff in 2008. He was re-elected in November.
Lester said in the next four years, he and his deputies will expand their contact in the community, with the purpose of serving the public to the best of their abilities.
“I look forward to serving as sheriff for another four years,” he said. “It is an honor and privilege, and together we can work to keep Cleveland County safe for all residents.”
In the past four years, deputies have increased patrol coverage throughout the county. CCSO also introduced community liaisons to better serve all citizens.
During Lester’s first term, he established two programs. One addresses jail overcrowding, and one is designed to help citizens identify their belongings.
The Second Chance Act Program gives non-violent offenders a change to re-acclimate into society. Women incarcerated at the Cleveland County Detention Center are eligible to participate.
The organization works with female inmates and helps them with housing and food needs. It also provides employment and counseling services. S-CAP is funded through the Second Chance Act grant from the Bureau of Justice.
The second program, the Home Inventory Program, can help people identify and claim their valuables should they ever be reported lost or stolen. It gives residents a chance to record their belongings.