“The hair might stand up on the back of my neck,” Oklahoma County deputies speak about dangers of serving eviction notices

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Serving an eviction notice is not out of the ordinary for sheriff's deputies in Oklahoma County.

“We do evictions approximately three days out of the week,” said Deputy James White with the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office.

While it may seem like a relatively routine job for a deputy, authorities said it can take a dangerous turn in a matter of moments.

On Tuesday, Logan County Sheriff's Deputy David Wade was serving an eviction notice when he was shot and killed.

The man charged with Wade's murder, Nathan LeForce, was later arrested after an hour’s long manhunt.

In that case, the eviction notice came after the tenants did not pay $300 worth of rent.

White is on his fourth year of serving eviction notices.

He said, in some cases, tenants become hostile and take out their frustrations on police.

“You know, do the best you can without actually getting physical but, if need to, we can get physical,” he said.

So far, the Oklahoma County Sheriff`s Office has served nearly 2,000 eviction notices this year, asking tenants to leave the property or go to jail.

White said most of the time he is walking into a filthy home.

“They leave dirty diapers behind, you know, and won't throw anything away,” White said.

Other times, he worries about who could possibly be standing on the other side of that door.

“There are times when the hair might stand up on the back of my neck,” White said.

He said, if things look suspicious, he will ask neighbors or the property owner about the person who is being evicted.

“If the owner tells us there [have] been problems in the past, we'll pull up their names and see if they got some criminal records or anything like that,” he said.

Oklahoma County served more than 6,600 eviction notices and 3,100 victim protection orders in 2016.

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