Tulsa County Sheriff Candidates Face Off At Forum

Thursday, March 10th 2016, 10:54 pm
By: News On 6

The two candidates vying to become the next Tulsa County sheriff met for the first time since one crashed the other's news conference.

While things didn't get as heated this time around, voters did learn a lot more about the candidates.

Democrat Rex Berry and Republican Vic Regalado answered questions, this time in a more civil setting.

3/8/2016 Related Story: Republican Sheriff Candidate Crashes Tulsa Democrats' Press Conference

The reserve deputy program came up early on.

"As far as scratching it and starting over, I'm not going to say that until I've gotten in and I've looked at it. I've got to believe that there are quality people in there that have gone through the proper training," Regalado said.

Berry said, "Everybody in there needs to be fully documented, or fully certified for their positions. No, they will not be allowed to be turned loose to make arrests or patrol on their own."

The candidates were also asked about being open to media.

"Yes, I do believe in communicating with the media. I think, in fact, it's been one of the biggest problems for the sheriff's office, to be quite frank," Regalado said.

Berry said he, himself, tried to make an open records request.

"I sent a request to Sheriff Robinette asking the status on it, she could not tell me that those had ever been requested. That is not transparency," he said.

Body cameras were a hot topic.

Berry said, "If we're willing to spend a couple million dollars a year defending lawsuits, we can come up with the money for the body cams."

Both candidates want to educate deputies on excessive force.

"That is probably the most important single policy procedure that you have to have in place. And currently I've looked at it, and it's ambiguous at best," said Regalado.

He also had to answer to his campaign donations.

3/8/2016 Related Story: Tulsa County Democratic Party Wants Ethics Investigation Of Regalado Campaign

He's been accused of receiving straw donations, but Thursday night he told the crowd he's proud of each and every one of his donations.