New Osage County sheriff fires five deputies

Michael Dixon sits at his desk in this undated photo from his campaign website.

There's a new sheriff in Osage County.

Sheriff Michael Dixon took over the role at 12 a.m. Tuesday and hasn't stopped since.

His dismissal of five sheriff's deputies sent shockwaves through the department.

"I expect to have a staff I can count on 24 hours a day ,7 days a week, that are going to be professional at all times, and maintain professional standards that we set forth as an administration," Dixon said.

At B-J's Restaurant, locals took the firings with a grain of salt.

People said the new sheriff is making the changes he was elected to do.

"This young man who was elected sheriff is qualified to be Sheriff," resident Dixie Keener said. "He knows what needs to be done, so he's going about his business to get done what needs to be done."

Keenerâ??s husband added, "Fair and firm, that is what I ask him to be."

But those who were served with pink slips said Dixon is playing politics.

Former detective Gary Storey says he expected to be out of a job.

"Because I ran against the man, it's pretty well known, him and I had an altercation, verbal, but the other guys he just fired because he wanted brand new people in there and people who swore allegiance to him and that's how that worked,â?? Storey.

Dixon says the department was in such bad shape that light fixtures didn't even work and that getting his new staff in place immediately was important so they could get the sheriff's office in working order.

â??Just the general presentation of the office itself -- the cleanliness the professional look of the office -- that we want the public to see when they come to our doors is important," Dixon said.

At the end of the day, Dixon hired five new people. He said that the most important thing to remember is that services were never interrupted.