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Chennault announces bid for reelection

Cherokee County Sheriff Jason Chennault has announced his candidacy for reelection for the 2024 election.

Chennault, a republican, has worked at the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office for 25 years. He began his law enforcement career January. 1999 as a reserve deputy at CCSO, under the leadership of former Sheriff Delena Goss and Undersheriff Dan Garber.

His first paid position at CCSO was that of being a part-time dispatcher and jail and part-time trash cop. The trash cop program is a state-funded grant that supplied money to Oklahoma's rural law enforcement agencies for the investigation of illegal dumping.

He was promoted to full-time patrol deputy in the summer of 1999, and promoted again to investigator in September 2003. In January 2005, Sheriff Norman Fisher took office as Cherokee County Sheriff and named Chennault his chief investigator and public information officer.

On Nov. 1, 2006, Fisher promoted him to undersheriff when Chennault was 31 years old, which made him one of the youngest undersheriffs in the state.

He served as undersheriff for 13 years, making him the longest-serving undersheriff in the history of CCSO. Chennault was appointed sheriff by the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners on Oct. 10, 2019, and took office on Nov. 1, 2019, upon Fisher’s retirement on Oct. 31, 2019.

Chennault was elected sheriff of Cherokee County in the 2020 election and began his first elected term in office in January 2021.

Chennault has twice been named the Cherokee County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year and was voted Cherokee County’s first place favorite public figure in 2022, and third place favorite public figure by readers of the Tahlequah Daily Press in 2023.

Chennault is a 1994 graduate of Markoma Bible Academy; a 2000 graduate of the Oklahoma State Council on Education and Training’s (CLEET) Full Time Peace Officer Academy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Northeastern State University; a 2003 graduate of CLEET’s Criminal Investigation Academy; a 2005 graduate of San Jose State University’s Homicide Investigations Academy; a 2007 graduate of the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Academy, and a 2013 graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Crisis Negotiation Academy. He was also an instructor in the November 2023 Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association Sheriffs’ Academy.

He and his wife, Sherry, live in the Briggs area of eastern Cherokee County with their 14-year-old son, Taylon. Their older son, Jaydin, lives in Tahlequah. His parents are Bill and Pat Snyder, of the Briggs area, and Terry Chennault of Tahlequah. Chennault has two brothers and two sisters: Robbie Snyder of Tahlequah; Nick Snyder; Melissa Snyder and Jaryn Linney all of the Briggs area.

Since his time in office, he and his administrative staff have increased the number of deputies on patrol, purchased over 25 new patrol vehicles, purchased three K-9 deputies with the assistance of grants, worked with Cherokee County’s rural elementary schools to add two additional school resource deputies, increased the starting salaries of patrol deputies by over $13,000 a year, and his deputies and investigators have taken illegal narcotics off the street and recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars of stolen property. 



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