Woodward, Okla. —
Question No. 1: With the new open carry law that goes into effect Nov. 1, how do you think that will affect how the sheriff’s office operates? Do you think it will cause problems in Woodward County?
The new open carry law will cause law enforcement to approach scenes in a different manner. Arriving at a disturbance will be a challenge because an individual may in fact be openly carrying a weapon; a judgment call may have to be made on the spot. This will require more training for the situation. The general public will still have to be licensed as they are for the current law. I don’t believe the change will cause any more of a problem than the existing concealed carry law.
Question No. 2: There have been a number of scuffles at the new county jail. How do you plan to address inmate fights and keep inmates from injuring other inmates and/or staff?
The Woodward County jail has the ability to lock down inmates up to 4 per cell. When scuffles occur there needs to be procedures in place to insure the safety of officers and other inmates. These would include individual lock downs. Inmates should be held accountable for their actions. Jailers need constant training and need the ability to control the environment for their safety as well as the safety of the inmates. With training this will save time and could possibly save an officer or inmate from harm.
Question No. 3: Tell us about your job history. What are your qualifications for becoming sheriff?
I served my country during the Vietnam War in the United States Navy.
I have 34 years’ experience working for the citizens of Woodward County. I have worked as an EMT at Woodward County EMS at the same time running my own construction company. I worked 13 years for Howes Refrigeration. I started as a night time deputy at the Sheriff’s Office working my way to Captain. I have been the D.A.R.E. officer for the last several years. I have enjoyed working with the Woodward county school teachers and teaching kids how to make the right decisions. I am responsible for the D.A.R.E. appropriations that pay for 2 deputies, our vehicles, training and education. I have had continued education in crime investigations, crime scenes, crime to and by children and human trafficking. I have had hands on experience with all of these with the exception of human trafficking. I recently had to take leave from the Sheriff’s Office since I am a candidate for Sheriff.
Question No. 4: Why do you want to be sheriff?
Working through the ranks at the Sheriff’s office, I have the experience and perspective to make necessary changes to the behind the scenes functions of the Sheriff’s Office. With the loss of five deputies in the last three years, I will boost the morale and improve conditions to keep professional and competent deputies on the job. As Sheriff I will forge a relationship with the City of Woodward and all other law enforcement agencies. I will implement meetings at least once a month with the deputies. I will have communication with the deputies, dispatchers and jailers at all times making sure I am available to them. I strongly believe in a working Sheriff.
Question No. 5: One of the sheriff’s vehicles was recently converted to CNG. How do you feel about CNG conversion? Wound you expand on the program and purchase/convert/utilize more CNG vehicles?
After just a few months of usage I don’t know that I have enough information to justify converting more vehicles at $9000.00 per. unit in this economy and with the available funds in Woodward County. The fewer miles a vehicle is driven the less cost effective CNG becomes. Filling up in an estimated 100 to 160 miles makes it difficult to evaluate, given the distance from one community to another, not to mention finding a refueling station in smaller communities. This in combination with gasoline does extend range but at what cost? Currently there are many varied opinions on this issue, none draw a clear conclusion. As more information becomes available, then I will make a decision.
Question No. 6: What do you feel are the top 3 crime issues in the county and how do you plan to address them?
Drugs, theft and vandalism are the top 3 crimes in the county in my opinion. We have a serious drug problem in Woodward County. We need to fight the drug problem by: traffic interdiction, a drug dog and a tactical team, all of these were phased out by the current administration. Under my administration deputies will be seen throughout the county on a daily basis and will work with all other law enforcement agencies. This will help deter crime and decrease our crime rate. The safety and security of the Woodward County citizens is my number one priority.
Question No. 7: Are there any changes you would like to see in the sheriff’s office operation? How would you improve operations?
There will be deputies working 24 hours a day. Currently deputies’ have to be woken up, get dressed and go to their vehicles to go on a call at night. This can take several minutes. Deputies on duty 24 hours a day will improve response times and reduce crime. This will improve our ability to serve our citizens throughout the county. As Sheriff, I will work alongside my deputies; I will use a county marked vehicle able to assist officers and the public. I will be a sheriff that deputies, jailer or dispatchers are not afraid to call on for assistance.