Monday, June 22, 2020

Only on MuskogeePolitico: Muskogee County Sheriff Candidate Forum


Back on June 4th, I asked MuskogeePolitico.com readers to submit questions for the three Republican candidates running for Muskogee County Sheriff. I received numerous responses with great questions. After compiling these into seven questions, I reached out to the candidates and asked them to submit their responses.

Allow me to present to you the first MuskogeePolitico.com Candidate Video Forum. Candidates Michael Mahan and Jeff Smith graciously participated (Andy Simmons was unable to meet the deadline due to a death in the family).


It is my hope that Muskogee County voters and residents will find this information to be useful and helpful as they determine who should carry the badge in Muskogee County for the next four years.

The candidate forum is embedded below, and can also be viewed live at Facebook.com/MuskogeePolitico. Be sure to share this post with any Muskogee County voters or residents that you know!



In addition to opening and closing comments, the candidates were asked to answer the following questions:
  1. Funding or perceived lack thereof has seemed to be a common frustration with recent Sheriffs. Particularly dealing with reverberating fiscal impacts from this year, how do you plan to run the sheriff’s office in a way that accomplishes what needs to be done with less money? 
  2. In one of the big news stories from earlier this year, nearly 30 county sheriffs across the state signed "Sanctuary County" declarations stating that they will not enforce unconstitutional laws, particularly dealing with the right to keep and bear arms. What are your thoughts on this, and do you intend to implement similar declarations or policies should you be elected to office? 
  3. What experience do you have in managing a large budget and staff, and do you have experience in obtaining local, state or federal grants?
  4. Civil Asset Forfeiture allows police departments to seize property belonging to citizens based on a suspicion that the property was used in or was the proceeds of a crime. Back in 2016, the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office generated national headlines when it seized $53,000 in cash from a Burmese Christian rock band, funds which were returned when the DA dropped the case. What is your position on Civil Asset Forfeiture? 
  5. There seem to have been some issues in recent years with the county jail, including a couple of inmate deaths. What plans or reforms do you intend to implement, specifically dealing with improved safety and service? 
  6. Are there any kinds of new technology or strategies that would you like to utilize in order to provide better services? 
  7. With the recent spotlight nationwide on policing procedures and techniques, are there any specific changes or reforms you would pursue if elected?

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