Sheriff Joseph K. (Joe) Lester
Cleveland County Sheriff Janurary 2009 - Present
Sheriff Joe Lester is a native Oklahoman, and first arrived in Cleveland County in 1991 as Police Chief/Director of Public Safety for the University of Oklahoma where he served until 2003. Joe has always been a devoted family man, community organizer and worker, and a true patriot for his country. Joe has always thrown all of his energy into every project, challenge or goal that he has encountered. He is one of the most successful law enforcement professionals in the nation.
Sheriff Joe Lester began his law enforcement career in 1965 as a commissioned officer in the United States Army (Military Police). In 1969, after finishing his tour of duty, he began his civilian law enforcement career with the Tulsa Police Department from 1969 till 1991. From 2003-2004, he expanded his duties to Vice President of Bridges International Development and began working economic development in the Congo in Africa. In 2004 he began working with Homeland Security through the T & J Group, serving there until 2008 when he was elected as Sheriff of Cleveland County.
Devoted to service, his community and country, Joe Lester has served in the numerous capacities. Joe has served on the Red Cross Board for Cleveland County, the United Way of Norman, as Vice-Chairman of the Norman Crime Stoppers, as the Vice Chairman of the Saint Luke’s United Methodist Church Administrative Board, as the President of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Commission, as the President of the Oklahoma FBI National Academy Associates, on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, as a member of Leadership Oklahoma, on the International Association of Chiefs of Police Community Policing committee, on the Executive Committee of the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police, as a Board Member for the Gatesway Foundation, as an active member of Rotary International, and for the American Legion.
Sheriff Lester completed his Bachelor’s degree in 1973 from Northeaster State University and received his Master’s degree in 1975 from Oklahoma City University. He has extensive continuing education and professional training that includes being a Graduate of the national Crime Prevention Institution in 1981, the FBI national Academy in 1994, and the Secret Service Dignitary Protection School in 1995.