SALLISAW, Ok. (KFSM) — Sallisaw voters will soon have the chance to elect their next police chief.
The choice is between incumbent Terry Franklin who has 31 years of law enforcement experience and U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Sallisaw police officer Chris Abner.
Frankin says things have gone well in his six years as chief.
“We’re going to keep progressing every day," Franklin said. "We’re always trying to improve our technology making sure we have the most current and updated equipment and training for our officers."
Abner says his new mission is to fight what he calls a drug epidemic invading the city.
“I’m a 14-year combat veteran. I got injured in combat so, I have the knowledge of what adversity is of being on the battlefield and having a plan," Abner said. "You have to have a plan to win."
Franklin says trying to combat narcotics in Sallisaw is a daily activity.
“In the last two weeks, we’ve done three or four drug raids. We’re always looking in and working on those cases," Franklin said.
As chief, Abner says he would push to get a narcotics, K9, something the department doesn’t have right now.
"And just working with the officers on a day to day basis even though if I got elected I would be police chief but I still want to be able to patrol the streets with the officers and lead from the front lines," Abner said.
Franklin says because of him, computers are in every squad car and officers now have body cameras.
Meanwhile, Abner who’s been endorsed by the local fraternal order of police, believes it’s time for a change. He wants to make sure resources are available for those battling addiction.
Both have a common goal of keeping the community safe.
Early voting is this Thursday (Feb. 6) and Friday (Feb. 7)
Election day is February 11.