Cherokee Nation Breaks Ground on $50 Million Public Safety Building

Cherokee Public Safety Building GB

TAHLEQUAH, OK – Leaders from the Cherokee Nation gathered to break ground on a new, state-of-the-art, 61,500 sq. ft. public safety building that will be located in Tahlequah, OK, near the tribe’s current EMS and Marshal Service facilities. The groundbreaking marked the beginning of construction on a new facility that is poised to provide comprehensive support through the tribe’s emergency medical services, emergency management, emergency dispatch operations and the ability to offer comprehensive training initiatives.

The public safety building represents a critical investment in emergency relief efforts for the Cherokee Nation, and is being funded through American Rescue Plan Act funding.

“This is a bright moment in the Cherokee Nation as we celebrate this capital investment,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “Taking the resources we have and investing them into the future for generational impact, you would be hard pressed to find a more critical need for the Cherokee people than to expand our public safety operation. Our original EMS facility has served us well, but the facility that we are going to build is going to be worthy of the men and women that work here and certainly worthy of the great services which they provide.”

Cherokee Public Safety Rendering

The building will serve as a 24-hour hub of emergency operations for Cherokee Nation, accommodating over 90 employees including personnel from EMS, emergency management, and emergency dispatch operations.

“There is a lot of work to be done, but that is why we are here today – we are ready to get this project moving,” said Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief Bryan Warner. “The women and men who protect and serve our Cherokee communities deserve to have a state-of-the-art operations hub. I know it’s a busy time at the Cherokee Nation – a time of new beginnings and transition, and this facility is a great part of our efforts.”

The project will also include a training center with comprehensive emergency medical training programs for first responders and community members.

“Public safety is something that our administration has been focusing on for the last several years, from public safety grants to donating car tag compact money back to police departments,” said Speaker of the Council Mike Shambaugh. “The well-being and prosperity of our people is very important to us.”

Childers Architects and Foreman Manhattan Construction are overseeing the project, which is expected to be completed in early 2026.

In 2022, Chief Hoskin and Deputy Chief Warner announced a $54 million investment into the tribe’s EMS program after meeting with the EMS staff and soliciting feedback from the department while discussing plans to bolster facilities and fleet services. The proposal was later approved by the Council of the Cherokee Nation. Along with the new $50 million public safety building, the tribe is also purchasing a fleet of new ambulances, which are set to arrive later this year.