OKLAHOMA COUNTY (KFOR) – Both Tommie Johnson III and Wayland Cubit answered a series of questions Wednesday night at Frederick Douglass High School in a KFOR conversation with the candidates.
Democratic candidate Wayland Cubit is a 24-year law enforcement veteran, having spent 21 years with the Oklahoma City Police Department. He began his career as a patrol officer and assisted with undercover investigations. Republican candidate Tommie Johnson III worked for the University of Oklahoma Police Department and currently works for the Norman Police Department.
It’s a history-making race. One candidate will become the first black sheriff in Oklahoma County history.
Issues ranging from State Question 805 to no-knock warrants were on the table Wednesday night. Both candidates said they plan to increase patrols. Right now, there’s about an average of five deputies that cover about 150 miles of unincorporated community.
“It’s unsafe for the deputies,” Cubit said. “It’s not safe for the communities.”
“Maybe riding two-man until we can get our fleet patrol cars bolstered up,” Johnson III said.
Both Johnson and Cubit also said they are against State Question 805. If passed, it would amend the constitution, ending the use of sentence enhancements against repeat offenders.
“It is too all-encompassing and next off, we need to be able to have progressive discipline. If you reoffend on the same thing, the penalty should get harsher,” Johnson III said.
“As a constitutional amendment the long-term effect of 805 concerns me,” Cubit said.
No-knock warrants have also come to light in recent national topics. The warrant is the same one used in Louisville that resulted in the death of Breonna Taylor. Both candidates said they are in favor of no-knock warrants.
“That is absolutely needed,” Cubit said. “It’s actually saved the lives of me and my team many, many times.”
“It does offer protection for both the officer and suspect involved,” Johnson III said.
Both candidates though, didn’t hesitate to discuss where they differ.
“There’s only one of us that has actually led, that actually has an official formal role in leadership,” Cubit said.
“I bring a value of experience,” Johnson III said. “I bring a collective of experience.”
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