Oklahoma’s sheriff of the year says he wants to continue to serve.
Canadian County Sheriff Chris West announced Thursday that he plans to seek a second term in office.
West replaced Randall Edwards, who retired in 2016.
He began his term in office in January 2017.
West was named the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association’s Sheriff of the Year for 2019.
In addition, he serves as second vice president for the association, and was elected to the board of directors of the National Sheriffs’ Association.
West recently returned from two major trips — a visit to the border wall along the U.S.-Mexican border, and a trip to Israel.
“I’m running for re-election in 2020! It’s such an incredible blessing to serve as Canadian County sheriff,” West said.
The announcement was posted, along with his picture, to both his personal social media account, as well as his Sheriff Chris West account, which serves as his Facebook campaign page.
West is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and retired Oklahoma Highway Patrol captain.
Prior to being elected sheriff, West served as undersheriff for four years. He won 70% of the vote in a June 2016 Republican primary election.
West, who grew up in Yukon, said he made significant organizational changes to the sheriff’s office when he took office, streamlining supervision and increasing the number of deputies patrolling the rural parts of the county.
These changes, he said, increased quality of service to citizens and decreased response times for calls.
West also said he saw the need to expand the sheriff’s office communications and dispatch capabilities.
He expanded the number of radio consoles from two to four, and added GeoSafe, a cellular-based GPS-tracking and computer-aided dispatch system.
GeoSafe allows dispatchers to observe real-time locations of deputies, aiding in dispatching units to calls for service in a more timely and efficient manner, and increases officer’s safety at the same time.
GeoSafe also allows deputies to tap into the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Telecommunications system and query law enforcement-related information directly from their patrol units using personal computer (laptop) technology.
West said he recognized the need for the county jail to have a secure garage facility known as a sally port.
Sally ports allow for the safe and secure loading and unloading of prisoners.
West identified and used non-taxpayer monies to fund the $600,000 project.
“These were all things I recognized as critical needs while I was working as the undersheriff, and once I became sheriff, I placed them as priorities,” said West.
West said he maintains his commitment to safeguarding the children of Canadian County and his deputies proactively work to take pedophiles off the streets as members of the Internet Crimes Against Children task force.
West said he is committed to building on and improving the professionalism of the sheriff’s office and providing top-quality services to the citizens of Canadian County.
“I believe that focusing on the areas of leadership, education, and training and communication is the key to delivering the
quality of services both our employees and citizens deserve,” West said.
West, a graduate of the FBI’s National Academy, also possesses an associate of arts in criminal justice from Redlands Community College and a bachelor of science in management and leadership from Southern Nazarene University.
In addition to his other roles, West also serves as a member of Oklahoma’s Council for Law Enforcement Education and Training, the Oklahoma District Attorney’s Council’s Forensic Sciences Improvement Task Force and as a member of the Oklahoma Board of Tests for Alcohol and Drug Influence.