by Jordann Lucero
Wednesday, August 23rd 2017
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — Wednesday, the men hoping to be elected the Oklahoma County Sheriff, faced each other for a debate.
The "Tussle at the Tower," held at the Tower Theater in Okahoma City was organized in part by Let's Fix This. The non-profit organization helps regular people get involved in politics.
"So often we show up at the ballot booth and we have no idea who these candidates are for positions like sheriffs and judges so we really wanted to give an opportunity for regular folks to show up and hear directly from the candidates for a very important position," said Let's Fix This executive director Andy Moore.
There are three candidates for the sheriff position. Republican P.D. Taylor is the current interim sheriff. Democrat Mike Hanson is a sergeant in the sheriff's office. Ed Grimes, the independent, is the only candidate who has not worked for Oklahoma County, but he has experience with the Canadian County Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement.
The candidates talked mostly about the jail, which has several issues.
"Proper funding, I think we need to spend it on having more detention staff, well-trained detention staff at the jail... Whenever there is a situation we can overwhelm the inmates with people, staffing. I think that spending money anywhere else, at first, is just wrong," Hanson said.
"First thing I'd like to see, in Oklahoma County, especially the jail is to treat people like human beings. They're not animals, they're people," Grimes said.
"Funding is an issue, but I've taken the stand that I'm going to do the best job with what I've got.," Taylor said.
The election is September 12.