John Whetsel retired on March 1, 2017, in his 21st year and sixth term as Oklahoma County Sheriff, after 50 years in law enforcement. John is a nationally recognized law enforcement consultant, traffic safety advocate, trainer and speaker.
John and wife Mitzi live in Choctaw Oklahoma and attend the St. John’s Catholic Church in Edmond where he serves on the Safety and Security Committee.
Whetsel began his law enforcement career in 1967 as a night records clerk with the Midwest City OK Police Dept. During his career he served as Jones OK Chief of Police before joining Choctaw OK Police in 1973 where he served as Police Chief for 21 years before being elected Sheriff. Sheriff Whetsel has earned Associate and Bachelor Degrees and Master’s studies.
Sheriff Whetsel chairs the National Sheriffs’ Assn Traffic Safety Committee and serves on the NSA Government Affairs Committee. He is a member of the MADD National Law Enforcement Advisory Board. He serves on the Federal Highways Administration Traffic Incident Management Executive Leadership Group and has served on working groups for the National Sheriffs’ Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Governors’ Highway Safety Association. John also is a member of Lyft’s national Safety Advisory Committee.
Sheriff Whetsel is the recipient of the J. Stannard Baker Excellence in Traffic Safety National Award, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association Trail Blazer Award and the Michael J Garner Oklahoma Traffic Advocate Award.
In 2006, Sheriff Whetsel was named the Oklahoma Sheriff of the Year and in 2011 he was inducted into the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Hall of Fame. In 2018, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Board of Chemical Tests for Alcohol & Drug Influence Hall of Fame.