Tulsa City Council Discusses Office Of Independent Monitor Plans
TULSA, Oklahoma - Mayor Bynum wants to slowly implement different community policing efforts while they work toward finding a plan that appeals to everyone.
Previously the three goals of Office of Independent Monitor were providing oversight, developing police policy, and building trust within the community.
Now without losing sight of those, Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum wants to focus more on community engagement by adding additional Community Resource Officers.
"We have to start somewhere so let's start with these,” said Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum.
Mayor Bynum introduced the five goals of his new plan to city councilors on Wednesday.
He says he wants to use research from outside agencies to see different trends in the community; he wants the police department to do a comprehensive annual report so their actions are more transparent to the community; he wants to formalize the citizen advisory board so community members can be a part of their meetings; he wants to implement suggestions from a recent use of force study conducted by the University of Cincinnati for the Tulsa Police Department; and he wants to expand on Tulsa Police Department’s current community policing efforts.
"I don’t think that we've had a greater success story than what we’ve seen in the past three years with the community resource officer at 61st and Peoria,” said Mayor Bynum.
Mayor Bynum believes adding more community resource officers to the Gilcrease and Mingo Valley Divisions would help have an impact on future generations to come.
"The kids in that neighborhood are going to have a positive reference point relative to policing as far as what it ought to look like for the rest of their lives,” said Mayor Bynum.
Councilors believe areas like 11th and Garnett and East Tulsa could also benefit.
Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police is very supportive, saying interacting with community members builds trust.
"If there’s a trust problem with your police department, let's fix the trust problem with the police department, let’s not stand up a third-party group that we then build trust in and have them vouch for the police department,” said Tulsa FOP Chairman, Jerad Lindsey.
The new plan also calls for a comprehensive annual report by the Tulsa Police Department that details use of force incidents, demographics and policy changes.
Some city councilors believe an outside agency should write the report instead of the Tulsa Police Department.
"That report is still going to be conducted by the Tulsa Police Department, so we are still going to be placed in a position of we just have to accept, believe or take what we are given,” said Tulsa City Council District One Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper.
Hall-Harper believes this plan still doesn't go far enough to hold officers accountable.
"Until the oversight is in place then we are not going to get to where we need to be as a city,” said Hall-Harper.
Councilors listened to a 'use of force' presentation on Wednesday afternoon analyzing current trends within the department.
The Mayor says this research also plays a role in his new plan along with information discussed during the equality indicator meeting on Wednesday night regarding police arrests.
Councilors plan to continue the discussion on this topic at their next meeting.
Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum announces A new plan for the Tulsa Police Department’s office of independent monitor after his previous plan didn’t get enough support.