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Norman police officer announces bid for Oklahoma County sheriff

Norman police officer Tommie Johnson. Photo provided
Norman police officer Tommie Johnson. Photo provided

Update: This story was updated Feb. 12 to include comments from Johnson.

Norman police officer Tommie Johnson recently announced he will run for Oklahoma County sheriff, joining several other candidates.

Johnson is an Oklahoma City native who previously worked for the University of Oklahoma Police Department before joining the Norman Police Department in 2015, according to a news release.

“I am running to bring new leadership to the sheriff’s office,” Johnson said. “As the last few years have made abundantly clear, the old ways of doing things just aren’t getting it done. We need a fresh approach here in Oklahoma County, and it’s time for a new generation of leadership in the sheriff’s office.”

His campaign will focus on fiscal responsibility, promoting partnerships and creating safer communities through policing in rural areas, he said.

Johnson said he has learned lessons from "great leaders" at the Norman Police Department - specifically the importance of community policing and have a large police presence to deter crime.

"I've seen what works and what doesn't," Johnson said. "We want to expand partnerships into the community because that gives people ownership in their own safety; it gives them buy-in."

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

The sheriff’s office is undergoing a major transition as management of the county jail is moved from the sheriff’s office to the Oklahoma County Jail Trust. How to handle this transition will likely be a top point of debate for candidates.

Johnson has served on the Norman Police Department’s hiring board and other committees. He attended East Central University and currently serves as a Republican precinct chairman.

"I love Oklahoma County," Johnson said. "This is where I'm from, and there is nothing greater to me than to serve the community where you were born and raised. If the voters would allow me hat opportunity, I wouldn't let them down."

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