Tulsa Police Spend Time At High School Talking With Students
TULSA, Oklahoma - Monday, was the first day for a pilot program called Project Trust, which works to build better relationships between Tulsa police and teenagers.
The idea behind the program is to build better relationships between officers and high school students - and that starts with saying hello.
A few Tulsa police officers spent part of their Monday at McLain High School.
"They are our future. They're the future of Tulsa," said Deputy Chief Jonathan Brooks.
Brooks said the first meeting is informal - it's just about students and officers getting to know each other.
"We wanna drop the formalities and have a comfortable environment where we can just talk real," he said.
Fifteen students chosen by school administration spent time with officers in a meeting closed to the public. Brooks said it's important they spent the time alone.
The deputy chief said, "We want the students to have a comfortable environment where they can say exactly what is on their mind."
The Project Trust meetings will continue once every other week for about a month.
City Councilor Karen Gilbert, who spearheaded the project, expects the conversations will evolve with time.
"What to do when they're pulled over, how to interact with a police officer, and to make sure they listen and follow the commands of the officer that pulled them over," Gilbert said.
If things go smoothly, the city councilor said the program will be expanded to other high schools in the district - and possibly to Union and Jenks.
Students took a survey today answering questions on how they feel about police. At the end of the program, they'll take the same survey and the City will compare the responses.