Members of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office have a unique way to take a stand against domestic violence thanks in part with a new, purple wrapped cruiser.
The vehicle, unveiled Friday, Oct. 13, is designed to bolster awareness and prevention of domestic violence. The efforts were undertaken with the help of the Community Crisis Center of northeast Oklahoma, which works with domestic violence victims and their families in Delaware, Ottawa and Craig Counties.
Community Crisis Center executive director DeeDee Cox said the idea for the wrapped car came from Ottawa County Sheriff Jeremy Floyd.
"He approached us with the idea of a car wrap as a collaborative effort, and I was so thrilled," said Cox. "I still have his letter following our meeting and plan to frame it. It is a truly wonderful thing to have outreach from the Sheriff's Office. We were so excited to do this."
Floyd said he was aware of similar initiatives by law enforcement agencies around the county, and domestic violence is an issue that his deputies confront on on a nearly daily basis.
"It's important that domestic violence is educated to the people," Floyd said. "It is an important topic and affects everyone in our community."
Officials with the Community Crisis Center coordinated sponsorship of the car wrap through NEO Realty Group, and Susan Rhodes Real Estate, both in Miami.
David Davis with NEO Realty, who also serves on the center's board of directors, reached out to his colleague Susan Rhodes, and together their agencies donated the funds for the wrap.
Allen Sign in Miami placed the wrap, a design of deep purple and silver and key phrases related to domestic violence, on the car, along with the center's 24 hour hotline number: 1-800-400-0883.
The cruiser will be driven by Sheriff's Deputy Lt. Jesse Krewson, who said he was proud to be a part of the initiative and praised the finished product.
"I think it looks great," said Krewson. "It's really sharp and for a good cause."
Domestic Violence in Oklahoma
According to the Cox, every nine seconds in the U.S. a woman experiences domestic violence, and a third of all domestic violence homicides are witnessed by children.
Oklahoma ranks sixth in the nation for women killed by men in domestic violence altercations, and 49 percent of women and 40 percent of men in the state have experienced domestic violence.
Officials with the Community Crisis Center provides support to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking at no cost. Services include an emergency shelter in Miami, a safe house located in Grove, legal assistance and access to rehabilitation services for offenders.
For more information about Domestic Violence Awareness Month or available resources, persons interested may call 918-540-2775 or visit getmeout.org. The 24-hour hotline may be accessed at 800-400-0883.