Tulsa 9.12 Project Tulsa County Sheriff Candidate Voter Guide
Party Affiliation: Republican
Previous offices held: No previous political offices held
Occupation: Business Executive
Current Employment: Senior Consultant, The Persimmon Group, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Previous Employment: I have led companies for over thirty-five years, both private and public, with budgets in excess of $350,000,000 and over 800 employees. I developed my leadership skills as a military officer serving as a fighter pilot for fourteen years with the Tulsa Air National Guard. I have over ten years as Tulsa Police Reserve Officer and certificates in civil law paralegal and legal investigation giving me both criminal and civil law experience.
The Persimmon Group, Tulsa, OK, Senior Consultant, 2015 – Present
The Drummond Law Firm, Tulsa, OK, Paralegal & Legal Investigator, 201 – 2015
Tulsa Community College, Tulsa, OK, Adjunct Professor, 2014 – Present
US Highland, Inc., Tulsa, OK, President/CEO/CFO/Director, 2011 – 2014
American Tissue Services Foundation, Edmond, OK, VP of Operations, 2010 – 2011
Advanced Law Enforcement Reserve Organization, Tulsa, OK, Founder, 2008 – Present
LifeGuard America, Inc., Tulsa, OK, Founder/President/CEO, 2001 – 2010
Indian Motorcycle Company, Gilroy, CA, President/CEO/Director, 2000-2001
Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Kansas City, MO, Manager/Vehicle Assembly, 1997 – 1999
Enigma, Inc., Tulsa, OK, Founder/Consultant, 1995 – 1998
Automation Consultants, Tulsa, OK, Founder/Consultant, 1994 – 1995
Advanced Graphics Systems, Inc., Bern, Switzerland/Tulsa, OK, VP Sales & Marketing, 1987-1994
Hewlett-Packard Company, Tulsa, OK, Systems & Sales Engineer, 1982-1987
FlightSafety International, Tulsa, OK, Systems Engineer on the Lear-35 Simulator, 1980-1982
Education: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, University of Tulsa, College of Engineering 1978
Graduate, USAF Pilot Training, 1980
Top Gun Graduate, Air National Guard, Fighter Weapons Instructor School, 1985
Valedictorian, Tulsa Police Reserve Academy, 2005
Certificates in 57 Courses, Department of Homeland Security & FEMA, 2009-20101
Graduate, Paralegal Studies, Center for Legal Studies, 2014
Graduate, Legal Investigation, Center for Legal Studies, 2015
Community ties: Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, May 18, 1956
Graduate of the University of Tulsa, 1978
Fighter Pilot with the Tulsa Air National Guard, 1978 – 1992
Tulsa Police Reserve Officer, 2005 – Present
Elder at First Presbyterian Church
Founded Ho Ho Ho, Inc. (Charity providing presents to children in hospitals over Christmas)
Worked over 300 charity events donating 1,500 hours over the past eleven years
Tulsa Crime Commission Board Member
Alert Neighbor Speaker across Tulsa
Danger-Stranger Speaker at Tulsa Elementary Schools
Founded the Advanced Law Enforcement Organization providing advanced weapons and
tactics training to reserve law enforcement officers at no cost to the officers.
Endorsements: Jono Helmerich, Tulsa Businessman
Gerald “Ged” Wright, Retired USAF General and State Senator
Bobby Walls, Retired USAF General
W. C. “Tiny” Tomsen, Tulsa Businessman
Burt Holmes, Tulsa Businessman
C.T. Thompson, M.D., F.A.C.S., Retired Surgeon and former CEO, Saint Francis Health System
R. Louis Reynolds, Tulsa Attorney
Joe Westervelt, Tulsa Businessman
Rick Guild, Tulsa Businessman
Elna Blass Albano, Director of Quality, Retired, Harley-Davidson
Mark Groves, Retired Corporal, Tulsa Police Department
James B. McCoy, Tulsa Businessman
Branscombe Richmond, Former Vice President of Native American Affairs, Indian Motorcycles
1. What is your top public-service accomplishment?
My twenty-four years as a military veteran and Tulsa Ploice Reserve Officer
2. What qualities, qualifications and characteristics will you bring to this office?
My experience is 35 years as a business executive leading medium and large public and private companies with annual budgets in excess of $350 million, 800 + employees. I spent 14 years serving my country as a leader of men and women in the arms forces of this great country. I volunteered thousands of hours to this great city as a reserve police officer patrolling the streets and participating in over 300 charity events on Saturday mornings.
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 police?
The way to control the 1033 federal program is to use common sense in any acquisition of military related equipment. If the TCSO has a legitimate need for equipment and can acquire that equipment through the federal government at no cost then it is worth investigating. Bomb handling robots, armored vehicles to protect deputies during an armed and barricaded suspect are examples of reasonable acquisitions. Grenade launches and other heavy military equipment have no place or legitimate use in a law enforcement organization.
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 had the titles of President, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Board Director of both public and private companies. I have managed annual budgets of over $350 million, submitted financial reports to the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission that if submitted knowingly false the penalty is prison. At Harley-Davidson in Kansas City I was responsible for the entire vehicle assembly workforce producing $1,500,000 in revenue per day. This workforce were members of two unions from very diverse backgrounds. This experience equipped me to deal with complex personnel issues working in high pressure environments to achieve a common set of goals. I have had the TCSO financials for over eight weeks and have a plan to reduce the operational costs of the entire TCSO and get it operating at or below its current budget.
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?
A reserve law enforcement program can be a great asset and provide exceptional value to the TCSO. The role of the reserve deputy program should be the support of deputies and detention officers. I do not support the use of “reservists” on mission critical units such as SWAT teams or the Violent Crimes/Drug task force. The Reserve Program should be reinstated after a complete review with clear objectives and training comparable with full-time deputies. I would institute a multi-tiered reserve program allowing duty assignments based on levels of training, experience and currency of job performance. A reserve program can only be successful when the goals, objectives, policies and procedures are clearly documented and aligned with the organization’s goals and objectives.
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 most important asset of any business is its people. Step one is to stabilize the organization by effective communication to all employees. I will meet with every employee in groups no larger than 50-75 to communicate my vision for the TCSO and what they can expect of me and what I will expect of them. I will assure them that their jobs are secure and that no one will be terminated without cause. I will share my guiding principles of telling the truth, no hidden agendas (transparency), keeping your word, acting with integrity, being accountable and competency in everything we do.
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?
Any actions that violate the Oklahoma Constitution are conditions worth intervening, I am committed to using the full powers of my office to protect and enforce every Constitutional Guarantee afforded our citizens.
8. Explain what changes if any you would make in the handling of persons in the county jail who are mentally ill?
We need to begin treating mentally ill inmates as patients not prisoners. I will make sure that a Crisis Intervention trained officer is assigned as a case manager. I will assure that those who come in contact with individuals in crisis are dealt with in a respectful manner attempting to de-escalate rather than exacerbate the situation. When people go into the jail they are already on meds and need them. They need to be seen by a doctor in a timely manner. I am also committed to the implementation of a jail diversion program pioneered by the Bexar County, Texas community. Their $100 million village handles all forms of mental illness, homeless and non-violent alcohol related offenders. A judge or magistrate is the first line of defense in the diversion protocol and these offenders are diverted away from the jail in an effort to get them the help they need. It is this alternative that will allow Tulsa County to deal with the incarceration problem that is facing our jail. This process restores the dignity of the citizens with addictive issues. Mike Brose, Melissa Baldwin, Susan Pamerleau, Leon Evans, Sergeant Galan (Mobile CIT), David Hernandez (Haven for Hope).
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?
Conduct a complete review of the organizational structure in reference to the budget. Creating a budget that is based on (1) Best case (2) probable case and (3) worst case scenarios. The organization will be transformed to operate efficiently under the worst case scenario. I have found over the course of my business career if you want to get to the best solutions of any problem ask the customer. I will conduct a straw poll utilizing the TCSO web-site allowing the residents of Tulsa County to answer the question of what they expect from their TCSO. I will then integrate the best ideas into the five year transformation plan for the TCSO. Because the jail represent two thirds of the entire TCSO budget, I will initiate, on day one, a nationwide search for a professional jail administrator to find a world class professional with the best credentials to manage the jail operations effectively and efficiently.
10. How will voters’ best distinguish between you and your opponent(s)?
I am the most qualified candidate running for Sheriff of Tulsa County. I am not now, nor have I ever been, associated with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, its administration or leadership. I believe it is imperative that the next Sheriff come from outside the organization so as to bring a new kind of leadership to the organization. My 35 years of experience as a business executive leading medium and large public and private companies with annual budgets in excess of $350 million, 800 plus employees. I spent 14 years serving my country as a leader of men and women in the arms forces of this great country. I have volunteered thousands of hours to this great city as a reserve police officer patrolling the streets making Tulsa a safer place to live. I bring a unique blend of experience and training that no other candidate can claim. I have created a ten page strategic plan after spending months talking with city and county leaders, sheriffs, police chiefs, and pastors from across the Tulsa County and nation. The strategic plan is the guiding document I will use to begin the transformation of the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office from day one of my administration.