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Another candidate announces for Oklahoma County sheriff

Virgil Green, 46, will run for Oklahoma County sheriff. Photo provided
Virgil Green, 46, will run for Oklahoma County sheriff. Photo provided

Longtime law enforcement officer Virgil Green announced his candidacy for Oklahoma County sheriff Thursday.

Green, 56, previously served as police chief in Spencer and Boley, and has served as president for the Oklahoma City Metro Chiefs Association, according to a news release.

Establishing effective community communication, increasing deputy training for mental health and rebuilding relationships with “historically under-served people and communities” such as those with disabilities and people experiencing homelessness will be the focus of Green’s campaign, according to his campaign website.

“There is a need for change in the culture within the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, and that change starts at the top and flows downward,” Green said in the release. “It’s time the sheriff’s office embraced a new approach to building stronger relationship(s) with the people of Oklahoma County.”

Green, who is running as a Democrat, would seek to increase the number of deputies on patrol and would support the building of a new county jail.

He also pointed to tensions between current Sheriff P.D. Taylor and other county officials over the creation of the Oklahoma County Jail Trust, which voted last year to take away management of the county jail from the sheriff’s office and hire an outside administrator.

“We are all aware of the simmering disputes between the Sheriff and a few county officials,” Green wrote. “I believe the people of Oklahoma County are tired of hearing about it and are ready for new leadership.”

Green joins several other individuals who have announced bids for the sheriff’s race, including Taylor. He previously ran for sheriff in 2017, which, Green said, made him the first African American to do so.

Green and his family live in southeast Oklahoma City.

“I promise as your sheriff my life, my integrity, my vision and my purpose will remain steadfast and be geared toward the safety of the citizens of Oklahoma County and the professionalism of the men and women of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s (Office)," Green said.

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 ›