Tulsa 9.12 Project Tulsa County Sheriff Candidate Voter Guide
Party Affiliation: Republican
Previous offices held: None
Occupation: Deputy Sheriff
Current Employment: Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office
Previous Employment: Okmulgee Police Department
Education: Associates in Arts, Tulsa Community College, Bachelor’s in Arts, Education, Northeastern State University, School of Police Supervision, Institute for Law Enforcement Administration
Community ties: Church on the Move and Bixby Quarterback Club
Endorsements: Rev. Casey
1. What is your top public-service accomplishment?
Establishing a Chaplain Corps.
2. What qualities, qualifications and characteristics will you bring to this office?
My experience as a deputy with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office since 2002 offers me insight into the operations of the office. Having served four years with the City of Okmulgee as a police officer allows me to distinguish what makes each agency unique. I have experience with budgets as head Speech, Debate, and Drama coach in Seminole, as Residence Hall Manager at Northeastern State University, and as a small business owner. I am a certified school teacher, certified practitioner with the National association of School Resource Officers, certified instructor with the CLEET, and I completed the School of Police Supervision.
3. How would you control the proliferation of the 1033 federal program that offers
military equipment and assets to Police departments and the over militarization of
The Sheriff has the responsibility to ensure all equipment acquired no matter the source is useful and cost effective to the office. Much of the military equipment offered through these programs is costly to maintain and provides little practical use to the daily operations of the office.
4. Since the Sheriff is the prime administrator of the Sheriff’s Department and the Tulsa County Jail, the Sheriff is responsible for creating policies and procedures, budgeting the department’s resources– monetary, human, and equipment, and overseeing personnel, what have you done to educate yourself to take on the complex administrative and budgetary issues of the Sheriff’s office?
I have served in the Sheriff’s Office for 13 years and know firsthand the budget concerns. I have built my own business from the ground up being responsible for every aspect that the role of Sheriff requires albeit on a smaller scale. I have met with community and Sheriff’s Office leaders to better equip myself for the challenge of managing the office.
5. Sadly the action of a volunteer led to the death of a man and the consequences have been divisive for our community and have cost our taxpayers literally millions of dollars. Will you use volunteer officers? How will they be used?
The reserve deputy program saves the taxpayers millions of dollars annually. It is a travesty to let the actions of a few individuals erases the contribution of the majority. I will utilize volunteers in the many capacities they have served with no issue. This includes allowing volunteers with proper training and certification to assist with transports, extradition, data analysis, and other support roles. I would hold the reserves to the same policies, procedures, and rank structure as full time deputies. I would also ensure the volunteers receive the proper training and make those records accessible to public oversight.
6. Explain your plans to gain the support and cooperation of the men and women currently working in the Sheriff’s Department? What will you do to rebuild morale in this department?
The office is served by hundreds of dedicated men and women who have seen policies circumnavigated by the “good old boy” system. I would ensure policies and procedures are followed by all employees, paid or unpaid. I would match the most qualified person to positions we have open. I would work to correct the pay scale which has a deputy with 20 years of service making the same amount as a deputy with one year of service. Ranks would be filled from within in my administration. The final aspect I would implement is being seen by the men and women serving the office.
7. Since the Sheriff is an elected position with Constitutional powers to intervene between citizens and the Federal Government, what are your views regarding the conditions, if any, under which such intervention would be appropriate? What action, if any would you take if Federal agents came into Tulsa County to enforce Federal gun laws?
The Sheriff is the citizens’ last defense against abusive government overreach. It is my responsibility to ensure all of the rights afforded us by the Constitution is upheld. If the Federal government came to infringe on any of our rights, I would stand against them by all means within my power.
8. Explain what changes if any you would make in the handling of persons in the county jail who are mentally ill?
I would work with mental health advocates to divert mentally ill citizens from our jail into treatment. Those held in our jail would have access to their medications and treatment professionals and be housed in a separate unit.
9. The Oklahoma economy has weakened and government revenues are down. Since the Sheriff serves as one of the eight members of the Budget Board for Tulsa County, what specifically would you propose to deal with a shortfall in County revenues?
The Sheriff’s Office in particular needs a fundamental shift in the way it conducts its business. For the past 250 years we have been doing business the same way in law enforcement in America. This has led us to the highest incarceration rate of any place in the world. The only way to fix the budget is to reduce the number of inmates housed at the jail. We reduce numbers by a number of different ways. First we take advantage of programs that have a proven success rate like the Drug Court which saved taxpayers statewide 35 million dollars over 3 years and generated 2 million dollars in revenue to the OTC. We need to implement the sister to the Drug Court, Mental Health Court, which exists for mentally ill who are a harm to themselves or others but not for mentally ill who are arrested for a crime. Second, we work to get those transitioning from jail back into society work. This could be accomplished through strategic partnerships with business leaders in Tulsa County. If an inmate can’t find a job when they reintegrate they are more likely to reoffend. Third, we become proactive in our community. We mentor our students, encourage deputies to be a part of the community, and foster relationships with other agencies in Tulsa County.
10. How will voters’ best distinguish between you and your opponent(s)?
I am the candidate who wants to do things different. I am not happy carrying on with the status quo. I want to make the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office great by reducing our incarceration rate exponentially while keeping our citizens safe._ Follow FortySix News on Twitter and Facebook: Follow @FortySixNews