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Oklahoma City police officer announces bid for Oklahoma County sheriff

Wayland Cubit, an Oklahoma City police officer, announced his intent to run for Oklahoma County sheriff. [Photo provided]
Wayland Cubit, an Oklahoma City police officer, announced his intent to run for Oklahoma County sheriff. [Photo provided]

Wayland Cubit, an Oklahoma City police officer, announced Thursday his campaign for Oklahoma County sheriff.

Cubit, 50, has been in law enforcement for 24 years, serving as a patrol officer and investigator. In 2010, he started an officer-led outreach program focused on mentoring at-risk youth to reduce juvenile crimes and incarceration.

“Law enforcement should be about helping people,” Cubit said in a news release. “That’s what I’ve focused on as a police officer and what I want to bring to the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.”

Transparency, mental health and criminal justice reform are key platform points, according to Cubit's campaign website.

Cubit said he would increase community policing efforts by creating and implementing programs to bring residents and officers together. Additional resources would be dedicated to mental health through improved officer training and better allocation of resources.

Cubit stated his support for various criminal justice reform efforts pushed by city leaders in recent years, such as projects within MAPS 4 and diversion programs, but added he wants law enforcement to participate more fully in those collaborations.

“A lot of times, these conversations are happening without law enforcement at the table,” Cubit said. “I want to be a responsible, active voice in what reform looks like and what it can mean to victims of crimes and perpetrators of crimes.”

As the Oklahoma County jail transitions from being managed by the county sheriff to an outside jail administrator, the role of the sheriff will drastically change. A focus on patrolling unincorporated areas of the county will likely be a key point for candidates.

Current Sheriff P.D. Taylor announced his reelection campaign last year.

“Solutions lie within people,” Cubit said. “Creating and being able to hear and communicate with a diverse group of people to find solutions is my gift. … I am first and foremost a people person.”

Cubit is an Oklahoma City native. He has studied at various Oklahoma universities and sits on multiple community boards such as the Oklahoma City Black Chamber of Commerce and the Odyssey Leadership Academy.

He also provides training on police interactions with youth and minority communities.

Cubit’s campaign kickoff event will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at Millwood High School in Oklahoma City.

“(Residents) will have access like they have never had before to me and to other leaders of the agency,” Cubit said. “Although I try to be perfect in everything I do, I don't get trapped by perfection. I am trapped by purpose. I identify needs and try to figure out how to meet those needs.”

Kayla Branch

Kayla Branch covers county government and poverty for The Oklahoman. Branch is a native Oklahoman and graduate of the University of Oklahoma. She joined The Oklahoman staff in April 2019. Read more ›

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