EDMOND — EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a series of candidate profiles for the Nov. 6 election of Oklahoma County sheriff. See the Oct. 20 edition of The Edmond Sun or go to www.edmondsun.com to read the profile of Sheriff John Whetsel.
Darrell Sorrels’ parents were born and raised in Oklahoma.
His mother was a meat wrapper for Humpty Dumpty and his father was an in-city truck driver for Chief Freightline. When he was a child the family lived in Nicoma Park, where they had a small acreage with farm animals. Sorrels was raised with three siblings and attended First Baptist Church in Nicoma Park.
“My parents taught us about hard work and to be honest, which produced integrity,” said Sorrels, a Republican challenging incumbent Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel. “They raised us with Christian values and to always remember how important family is.”
Sorrels said he was taught to treat people with respect, and his father showed by example that it is wise to save a portion of his earnings for the future.
“He also taught us to stand firm in what we knew was right,” Sorrels said.
His father was the family patriarch and watching him fight the good fight against cancer and ultimately lose the battle was the most challenging experience of his life, Sorrels said. Watching him fight the way he did, never complaining and always in good spirits through it all, was inspiring, Sorrels said.
“I responded to this by being the best support I could through his battle and in knowing when his life was over here on earth that he would be in a much better place,” Sorrels said. “It is my purpose to carry on his legacy and instill those same values in the next generation of our family.”
COPS, ROBBERS & CHALLENGES
As a young boy, Sorrels always played cops and robbers.
“I always chose the good side and was a cop,” Sorrels said. “These early experiences and watching members of my family who were in law enforcement molded and shaped me for this career. What drew me to this profession was an opportunity to help and protect others and to serve the community in problem solving.”
Sorrels served Oklahoma County citizens for more than 20 years in law enforcement. He has worn many hats during his career from working the courts as a deputy to being a K-9 deputy to being on the tactical team in high-risk tactical operations and supervising deputies as a patrol supervisor. He also was a state certified law enforcement trainer for CLEET, training men and women to prepare them for the best outcome in their career.
As a deputy working for the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office under J.D. Sharp and observing the current sheriff he watched two styles of leadership, Sorrels said.
By taking something good from both men and adding accountability and transparency to the two different styles of management he will be able to streamline the sheriff’s office in order to run it more effectively and efficiently, Sorrels said.
“I am running for sheriff to give Oklahoma County citizens a choice for a sheriff that will be accountable and transparent in his actions and decisions in serving the community of Oklahoma County,” Sorrels said. “I will be a sheriff who will create opportunities for positive change to restore conservative values in county government and will improve communications and dialogue between the citizens and the sheriff’s office.”
Challenges for the office include too much spending — the budget of the sheriff’s office has increased more than 200 percent since the current sheriff has taken office, Sorrels said. The agency also has too many vehicles and equipment, and too much secrecy, he said.
If elected, Sorrels said he would reduce overcrowding of the Oklahoma County jail by ending the holding of state inmates, improve safety and security in the Oklahoma County jail for detainees and employees, increase the presence of law enforcement in the rural and unincorporated areas of the county, recruit and train citizens to assist in natural disasters and emergencies and expose and fight corruption in government.
Sorrels, who identifies himself as a constitutional conservative Republican, said he stands for truth, honesty, transparency and accountability and doing the right thing when no one is looking.
For more information about Sorrels, visit www.sorrelsforsheriff.com.
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