Manning Announces Candidacy For Re-Election As Sheriff


March 29, 2024

Provided Press Release

Sheriff Derek Manning has announced that he will stand for re-election as a Republican candidate for the office of Beckham County Sheriff. Manning is completing his second term in office and says that he would be honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve the citizens of Beckham County.

I was born in Beckham County, and Holli and I grew up here and raised our family here,” Manning said. “The chance to serve my home county as a law enforcement officer has always meant a great deal to me. And I am asking the citizens of this county for the opportunity to continue doing just that.”

Manning, a retired Oklahoma State Trooper, and his wife, Holli, both grew up in Sayre. They now reside in Elk City, where Holli teaches AP Language/Composition at Elk City High School and serves as the high school librarian. The Mannings also started and published The Daily Elk Citian, a newspaper that won the coveted Sequoyah Award in 2012 for being one of the top newspapers in the state.

Manning is the son of the late Wayne and Clydene Manning, who were also life-time Beckham County residents, and he credits them for his passion to serve. “My mom was from Sayre, and my Dad was from Delhi,” he said. “They both retired from jobs in county government, and they both taught me to love this community and the people in it. The high bar they set for me with their work ethic and their reputation in this community is something I value and work to live up to.”

Since being elected Beckham County Sheriff in 2016, Manning says that he can point to many accomplishments and improvements made by his office. “We have a strong core group of people serving this county in our office,” the sheriff said. “I’m proud of what we have accomplished and of the plans we have for the future.”

Some of the things Manning lists as accomplishments by his office include:

A team of three School Resource Officers who cover four schools in the county, including Sayre, Merritt, Sweetwater and Erick Schools. Manning said a total of three SROs were initially his goal when they started the program, but now he believes that there could be a possibility for a fourth. “The deputies who have helped me establish this program have done such an outstanding job, and they have become consistently relied upon by our school systems,” Manning said. “Because they have proven their value to our school administrators, parents and teachers, our goal eventually is to add one more deputy so we can have a full-time SRO at each school,” he said.

An expanded and expanding drone program. “We have had great success with our drone program on everything from manhunts, standoffs, missing persons, warrant service… you name it.” Manning said. “We’ve upgraded equipment, and we’re now working on licensing two more drone operators. We’ve also made arrangements with a couple of our volunteer firefighters who are licensed to fly drones. This technology saves time, improves outcomes and enhances officer safety.”

An active and sought-out K9 program. “Our K9 program has been well used by our office and by surrounding agencies,” Manning said. “Our current handler and his K9 partner are often requested for their assistance. We’re still one of the only agencies around with a K9, and we are happy to help out any time we can.

A clean, updated and well-run detention facility. “This is one of the areas I was talking about where our staff excels, and it’s something that just cannot be done without good people to make it operate,” the sheriff said. “Our jail captain and his staff, our detention deputies and our maintenance deputy all have been diligent about this. The jail is not something most people in this county think about every day, but it’s almost 20 years old now, so it requires constant upkeep and modernization. The Beckham County Detention Center is an asset to this county because of the constant efforts of our staff. Along with that, we have added technology such as a full-body scanner, which helps keep contraband out of our jail, and we’ve added security-enhancing upgrades and expansions to our video surveillance system and door control system.”

Improved physical and mental health service programs in the jail. “We’ve increased our nursing services through our medical contractor to a full-time position, which has been a huge help for the healthcare of inmates, the support of our staff and in dealing with healthcare billing. Also, we are in the process of contracting with Red Rock Behavioral Services for individual counseling services, group counseling and mental health/substance abuse treatment in the jail. We believe this will be a very important service to help with the thirty percent or so of those who spend time in our jail and struggle with mental health and/or substance abuse issues. Having that service available while they are in custody instead of having to wait until they are released or until they can find a private place to get help will be a game-changer for many people.”

A proactive and efficient dispatch team that actively assists deputies and officers in the field to help keep them safe and maximize their ability to perform their duties. “We have some of the best in western Oklahoma in our dispatch center. They’re good at what they do. My dispatch captain has done a great job putting our current team together and training them to high standards. I’m proud to have had a part in helping build that. They keep us all safer,” the sheriff said.

24-hour patrol coverage of the county along with a detective division and courthouse security. “Our commissioned deputies stay busy night and day doing everything from keeping the courthouse safe, serving court papers, providing investigative support on certain cases, and patrolling all 900-plus square miles of this county. We also augment our full-time deputies with a handful of part-time reserve deputies to help provide more coverage and extra backup, especially on night shifts. My undersheriff and I are also quite often active on patrol and on callouts to provide as much response as possible where needed. Like any law enforcement agency, we could use three times as many deputies as we have, but these folks bust their tails to keep this county patrolled and safe, and I’m proud to work alongside them.”

Implementation of the Beckham County Sheriff’s App. “We have more than five thousand people now who use our app,” Manning said, “for everything from Sheriff’s Sales and Jail Log information to push notifications and alerts, which have actually resolved cases, located missing persons and more. It has become a very important way for us to communicate with our community and our community to communicate with us. If you don’t have it, you need it on your phone. You can find it in your favorite app store.”

An administrative staff that maximizes the efficiency and financial capability of the sheriff’s office. “This is a complex office with a lot of moving parts. Along with our law enforcement and jail duties, our admin staff covers everything from providing equipment for deputies, keeping time and payroll organized, keeping and organizing records, making sure vehicles are up and running, and finding funds to subsidize our general budget… it goes on and on,” Manning said. “It takes extremely organized people to do all of that, and the current administrative staff I have in place excels at those details. I am very proud of the team we have and the way they manage all of that.”

Sheriff Manning said the list could go on about the things he is proud of his office and staff for achieving during the past few years. “But mostly it’s this,” he said. “We have assembled a great team, and the work they do is important and too often unnoticed. Whether it’s detention staff, dispatch staff, administrative staff or commissioned deputies, everyone has learned to pull together to achieve our mission — and mission is a word I use daily: Focus on the mission, act with integrity, and treat people with simple dignity. If we do those three things, then we’re doing the best we can for Beckham County.”

Along with serving Beckham County as sheriff, Manning serves on three boards, all of which he says help advance the law enforcement cause and help build useful professional relationships for Beckham County. They include:

Current chairman of the District 2 Drug Task Force board.

Commissioner for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

Member of the Governance Board for the Oklahoma Counter Terrorism Information Center.

Manning holds an advanced certification in law enforcement with the State of Oklahoma. He is a law enforcement instructor with training in several specialty areas.

I love doing this job,” Manning said. “And I have a great deal more to offer in this role. I respectfully ask for your support and vote, I would be honored to have the chance to continue to serve Beckham County as its sheriff for the next four years.”

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