OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO)– The Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police, Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police, Oklahoma district attorneys, Oklahoma Sheriff's Association and Oklahoma State Fraternal Order of Police outlined their concerns about the unintended consequences of State Questions 780 and 781.
"We often know who the rapists, burglars and other violent criminals are, but in order to remove those people from the streets we have to use the leverage of drug possession," said Edmond Chief of Police Bob Ricks. "SQ 780 and 781 remove that tool from our arsenal."
While they agree criminal justice reform is needed, they don't believe that reclassifying certain crimes from felonies to misdemeanors is the solutions.
"Drug courts will suffer," said Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn. "We will not be able to get people into our drug court when they face a few months in county jail instead of a felony. They'll take the time in county instead of getting the treatment they need."
"Our jails are overcrowded as it is," explained Sherriff Ron Lockhart of Sequoyah County. "Seventy-seven sheriffs in this state are against State Question 780 and 781 because our counties simply can't afford an even larger jail population."