New Oklahoma Co. Sheriff To Be Decided By Vote Tuesday
OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Oklahoma - There will be a new sheriff in town. Tuesday, Oklahoma County voters will decide on a new county sheriff. Longtime Sheriff John Whetsel resigned earlier this year.
There are three candidates on the ballot and all three say it's time to change how things have been done in the past.
Michael Hanson was going door-to-door Monday in his old stomping grounds: a neighborhood he patrolled during his decades as an Oklahoma County sheriff's deputy. Hanson says his years within the department taught him the right and wrong way to do it.
“I’m going to have the right people around me who is going to make sure we look into everything,” he said. “We’ve got to trim the fat, we’ve got to be lean and mean. We’ve got to get the jail back in shape.”
Meanwhile, Independent candidate Ed Grimes and his team were doing some last minute strategizing. Grimes is a former Canadian County undersheriff who wants to bring the shine back to Oklahoma County's tarnished image.
“I think they need to know that I’m an honest person,” said Grimes. “If I tell you I will do something I will do my very best to make sure that happens. It’s time we brought back honesty and transparency into our Sheriff’s Department.”
But acting Sheriff PD Taylor says he's the only one who really knows what needs to be done because he's been doing it for the past seven months and he's already made significant changes like reducing the jails population from 2,500 to around 1,900, the lowest in years.
“A lot of these people have mental illness, they’re addicted to drugs, they’re addicted to alcohol and it’s not really doing them any good siting in the county jail so if we can get them into some sort of program that’s a real positive,” Taylor said.