Cotton County Undersheriff named Oklahoma Deputy of the Year

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 6:20 PM CDT
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COTTON COUNTY, Okla. (KSWO) - the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association is recognizing the Cotton County Undersheriff as the 2021 Deputy of the Year.

From chasing dangerous suspects down highways to saving lives with tourniquets, Undersheriff Gary Whittington never expected an award for all he does, but after a tough year, his team says it’s well deserved.

“I was very honored and it was a very proud moment,” Whittington said.

Earlier this year, Deputy Whittington helped chase down a suspect running other drivers off the highway and saved a woman who could have bled to death, on top of dealing with his own health issues, the team felt he deserved to be recognized.

Sheriff Tim King, along with a few others in the office, sent in the nomination about five months ago.

“He’s been on numerous calls,” King said. “Traffic, wrecks, we pull people out of vehicles. He’s administered narcan several times, placed a tourniquet on a lady’s leg after it was hit with a chainsaw. He’s gone above and beyond.”

But Whittington started this year in the hospital with COVID, and in August, was in the hospital after a major back surgery.

That’s when he found out a group of his colleagues nominated him for Oklahoma’s Deputy Sheriff of the Year.

“My wife showed me on the phone a letter that statement that I’d won Deputy of the Year,” Whittingson said. “At first, I thought it was in-house. That my guys and the sheriff had put this together and she had me read it a little closer, and I realized that it was from the State of Oklahoma.”

King and Whittington have known each other for about 25 years.

“Gary’s one of those that you can call on no matter whether it’s serving a civil paper or serving a search warrant,” King said. “He’ll go on anything you call him on.”

This is Whittington’s 24th year working in law enforcement.

He worked as the police chief in Waurika for a decade before returning to Cotton County, and he wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“It’s just an honor to be able to serve the people of Cotton County, mostly because this is where I grew up and this is where I started my career,” Whittington said.

Whittington accepted his award on Friday night in Norman surrounded by his family and friends.

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