Sgt. Luke Sherman, GOP Candidate for Tulsa County Sheriff, is proud to announce the endorsement of Cathy Costello, widow of murdered Oklahoma Labor Commissioner, Mark Costello. Their mentally ill son, Christian Costello, is accused of publicly murdering his father last year. Since that time, Cathy Costello has become a nationally-recognized advocate for mental illness reform.
"Mental illness is the most serious and important issue facing our state," says Cathy Costello. "Oklahoma ranks 2nd in the U.S. for persons with a mental illness and 49th in mental health funding. 25% of our population suffers from a treatable condition that our prison system refuses to acknowledge despite the fact that more than 50% of inmates have a history of mental illness."
Costello is endorsing Luke Sherman for Sheriff because of his diverse experience and history of advocating for mental illness reform which is sorely needed in the TCSO.
After Costello announced her endorsement today, Luke Sherman unveiled a visionary five-point plan to initiate permanent reform to mental illness policies at the TCSO. Among the details, expanding training for street-level officer to identify, handle and direct suspects exhibiting signs of mental illness.
"Oklahoma has high rates of mental illness and high rates of incarceration," says Luke Sherman. "That tells me something in the system is not working correctly. We can save a tremendous amount of money, and more importantly, save lives and families, by shifting our focus away from punishment and towards treatment while protecting public safety. I'm grateful for Cathy Costello's endorsement because it tells me I'm on the right track."
Sherman based his five-point mental illness plan by coordinating with mental health and law enforcement experts across the country.
Luke Sherman is a lifelong Republican and 23-year veteran of the Tulsa Police Department. For details on Sherman's plans for Tulsa County visit www.ShermanForSheriff.com.
The GOP primary election is scheduled for June 28, 2016.