Tulsa 9.12 Project Tulsa County Sheriff Candidate Voter Guide
Party Affiliation: Republican (23 Years)
Previous offices held: None
Occupation: Law enforcement
Current Employment: Tulsa Police Department – Sergeant – Fugitive Warrants Unit – 23 years.
Previous Employment: Entire professional career with Tulsa Police Department.
Education: University of Northeastern State – Tahlequah (OK)
Endorsements: Dan Rooney – Founder with the Folds of Honor.
Bill Wells – retired Deputy Chief with the Tulsa Police Department.
Robert J. O’Neill – retired U.S. Navy (SEAL)
Mark Lomax – retired Commander with Pennsylvania State Police and Executive Director of the National Tactical Officer’s Association (NTOA).
Mike Foreman – retired Chief Deputy with Orange County Sheriff’s Office (FL), Emeritus Director with the NTOA.
Ed Pulido – retired Major U.S. Army and Ambassador for the Folds of Honor.
1. What is your top public-service accomplishment?
I have earned numerous awards in my career and have made and led officers on thousands of investigations and arrests, but I believe that my greatest accomplishment has been providing training over the last 18 years of my 23 years on my department to the men and women who each play a part in the services we provide as a law enforcement group. Just like those who trained me, I believe that if we focus on improving the quality of our officers we will provide a service that is worthy of the public’s trust.
2. What qualities, qualifications and characteristics will you bring to this office?
I have served in leadership positions for 18 years and have managed hundreds of officers at all levels of police work (SWAT, Fugitive Warrants, Internal Affairs, Vice, Patrol). For the past 8 years, I’ve handled and operated 3 separate federal budgets with thousands of moving parts and
hundreds of thousands of dollars annually as the leader of the TPD Fugitive Warrants Unit. I am also a Director (and Treasurer) for the National Tactical Officer’s Association (NTOA) where I oversee a multimillion dollar budget. This association works with 1500+ tactical teams, departments and their members (40,000) around the globe with the mission to professionalize the police profession regarding decision making and handling critical incidents.
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?
Abuses in the federal 1033 program have led to a spirit of fear in the public. I believe that we should keep our officers safe, but also remember that America is not a battlefield. As a Director with the NTOA, I was directly involved in working with Congress as they analyzed the accuracy and validity of the 1033 program. The answer is clear: we are not the military nor do we need some of the military surplus equipment to perform our LE duties. American law enforcement needs to focus on only using the necessary equipment to perform their duties versus acquiring unnecessary military surplus.
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?
When I first decided to run for this office I conducted an extensive analysis of the current protocols regarding the policies, procedures and budgets of the Sheriff’s Office. It is clear to me that many of the issues the organization faces are rooted in personnel policy and professional development. I have spent countless hours analyzing and constructing a plan to empower the deputies and detention officers while also trying to understand and determine where and how funding and manpower is being under-utilized.
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?
I believe that the Reserve Deputy program is essential to the operations of TCSO. The situation that led to the Harris case should have never been allowed. While reserve units serve a purpose, their scope of work should be reflective of their experience, training, and expertise. I intend to use my unique skillset and network to bring relevant, congressionally recognized and internationally known training to all TCSO personnel while at the same time defining parameters of responsibility and expectations for the various different groups within the TCSO rank and file.
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 greatest asset of any organization is its people. It is essential for the men and women in the Sheriff’s office to know that their leader wants them to succeed. That success starts with leadership that will not abandon them when challenges come. I learned early in my career that true leaders give credit to their team in success, and hold themselves responsible when mistakes are made. Once the organization is stabilized, I then intend implement a culture of success through relevant and proven training models that will lead to future success, confidence and career development.
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?
We are not at war with our people. The aggressiveness of the federal government has led to the rise of “Sagebrush Sheriff’s”. I believe that it is not only the Sheriff’s duty and authority, but also their obligation to step in and protect the people from federal overreach. We have “unalienable rights” that will not be infringed upon. I will not participate nor support any illegal federal intrusion into our county, this is my responsibility as the Sheriff of our county.
8. Explain what changes if any you would make in the handling of persons in the county jail who are mentally ill?
I would first want to ensure that the mental health services in place are effective and operating on “all cylinders” with help from professionals in mental health field. The ultimate goal is to help those with mental issues through diversion programs and effective coping skills. Another critical priority is to divert citizens away from being incarcerated, and instead to professional agencies that can help handle and treat those with mental illness. I also support the idea of a MOBILE team (medical, mental illness specialist and law enforcement personnel) to assist in the field with expertise in the aforementioned diversion philosophies. We NEED to serve.
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?
First, we have to identify the needs, resources and services within the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office and then implement directives to work within the budget we have. It is also crucial that we conduct a comprehensive analysis to find out if, and what waste can be found in the budget. I am also looking into partnerships with other local agencies and redirecting some excess earmarked ad valorem funds that are not being used by Tulsa Technology Center and Tulsa Community College.
10. How will voters’ best distinguish between you and your opponent(s)?
I am the only candidate in this race with a proven record of trusted leadership. In my 23 years of service, 18 years has been spent leading officers in a variety of different assignments. I am also the only candidate who is truly prepared to equip our deputies with congressional and internationally recognized training on Day 1. This county needs a Sheriff that understands the national implications of federal overreach, the threat of terrorism, issues regarding mental illness, domestic violence and substance abuse. I am prepared and fully understand how all of these issues can and will affect our county. I possess the proven leadership experience to lead the Sheriff’s Office in properly serving the community related to these issues._ Follow FortySix News on Twitter and Facebook: Follow @FortySixNews