Why the need for deputies
As required by Oklahoma state statutes, only a sheriff or deputy sheriff can serve civil process in the state of Oklahoma. Likewise only a sheriff or deputy sheriff can execute an order of eviction in the state of Oklahoma.
On any given day, there are thousands of civil papers waiting to be served. If I recall correctly, they process over four hundred evictions per month. In addition to those responsibilities sheriff's deputies strive to serve the outstanding criminal warrants waiting for service. On any given day, there are in excess of twenty thousand (20,000) warrants sitting in the system, waiting for somebody to step and go find some ******* that raped a kid.
Due to the serious manpower constraints, they don't even focus on warrants for misdemeanor offenses. They primarily chase wanted felons around the county, the state of Oklahoma and even well across state lines.
Back at home patrol deputies secure such areas as Deer Creek, where there is no local police department available to keep those citizens safe. When not chasing calls, patrol deputies transport mental patients to various facilities so they can receive help. All that is done in conjunction with a contract through the Oklahoma health department.
Lastly (not really, I could go on for hours) special units such the OCSO TAC team provide direct support for the numerous small police departments operating inside the county borders. Those small agencies do not have the resources required to hire and train such personel, much less have them on standy 24 hour a day.
There are many, many other things the sheriffs office does to serve the public. Taking fingerprints for CCW applications is just one more of many.
So dont get the idea they are bloated and over grown - the truth is quite the opposite.
And just for the record, I am not an employee of the Oklahoma County Sheriffs Office. I was (for 35 years) but I am now quite retired. The guys I left behind have their hands full, I dont envy them in the least.