By Luke Sherman, Candidate for Tulsa County Sheriff
The vicious and coordinated terror attacks on Paris this month were a sobering reminder to us all. Terrorism is still a very real threat to the safety of people worldwide… even here in Tulsa.
ISIS proudly claims responsibility for the murder of 129 people and for wounding more than 350 others. But don’t be fooled into thinking the terror is over. Paris is latest stop in a movement across the west that will United States the latest example of escalating violence being conducted by radical Islamic terrorism.
Twenty years ago as a young officer I watched as our state was rocked by the largest act of domestic terrorism in our nation’s history. Like many Oklahomans, when I saw the destruction at the Alfred P. Murrah Building I realized that our world was changing.
What happened on 9/11 and in Paris have only underscored the need for our police forces to be ready for whatever may come.
That is why I have dedicated my life to public safety and terror prevention. Since 2004, I have traveled the globe, training other law enforcement officers in leadership, decision making, and special response tactics. Sharing my insight and expertise is one of my greatest passions because I know it saves lives.
Throughout my career, and my campaign for Tulsa County Sheriff, I have focused on the critical importance of being prepared for a terror attack or major emergency. I believe County Law Enforcement has the primary opportunity and responsibility to provide resources and training for every public safety agency in Tulsa County.
My Five-Point Preparedness Plan will make Tulsa County a national leader in terror prevention and readiness.
We must provide security while securing personal liberty. We are not at war with our own citizens. The people of Tulsa County should feel safe but also know their rights will not be sacrificed on the altar of empty promises. We need bold leadership that will legally and properly balance the safety and liberty of all citizens.
The question is not if we will have a major incident in Tulsa County, it is a matter of when. Our officers need comprehensive training that prepares them to respond to any emergency. I know how to provide that training.
Law enforcement can no longer rely solely on the information we gather as government agents. We must have a healthy and active working relationship with all citizens of Tulsa County. We need citizen leaders who understand how to respond in a crisis. I will bring awareness and training to the community so when tragedy strikes we are ready to collaborate, address it quickly, and minimize casualties.
During any crisis, effective communication is critical. Law enforcement in Tulsa County must have a uniform communications system. Our strength lies in our ability to respond together. But that means agencies in Tulsa County need to be comfortable working as a team especially during a crisis. I will focus on bringing agencies together so we can respond effectively and work proactively.
We need a Sheriff’s Office that has national and international connections to monitor trends in crime and terrorism. As a Director for the National Tactical Officers Association, I coordinate with more than 40,000 officers around the world who deal specifically in terror intelligence, prevention, and critical decision making on a daily basis. We must have leaders who understand police work is not limited to what happens in our backyard. We face threats from all around the world and we need law enforcement that knows and understands that.
I believe Tulsa County must be prepared and equipped for the future. I plan to shape the Tulsa County Sheriff’s office into the finest, best trained, and most professional law enforcement agency in the nation with effective training and aggressive innovation.