Tulsa City Councilors Delay Office of Independent Monitor

Wednesday, August 28th 2019, 11:08 pm
By: News On 6

City Councilors voted to continue conversations about a proposed ordinance that would create a Office of the Independent Monitor.

The group would monitor certain investigations regarding the Tulsa Police Department.

The vote has been delayed but City Councilors did open the floor at tonight's meeting for community feedback. There were questions about the job of the OIM and what kind of power the office would have. City Councilors were scheduled to vote on an ordinance that would create the Office of Independent Monitor, also known as the OIM. A group the ordinance says would monitor certain investigations of the Tulsa Police Department, make policy recommendations, provide community outreach and communicate issues of concern to the COB (Citizen Oversight Board). The vote was delayed on Wednesday after leaders decided more work needed to be done on the ordinance. They wanted to hear from the community again.

If our hearts aren't in it, if we can't do it with unanimity then what we are really saying is we are not ready to do it and lets not represent to the public, who really cares, who live and die on the streets...either do it right or do nothing," said Burlinda Radney.

Some community members voiced concerns that over the discussion process the ordinance had been watered down and didn't serve it's intended purpose anymore unless revisions were made.

"What we have ended up with now is more of an auditor after the fact and that is really concerning because that wasn't the initial intent," said Laura Bellis.

Some voiced what they felt to be the intended importance of the O-I-M, being a part of the process, not coming in afterwards- able to be in the room during investigations and make recommendations in real time.

Others voiced concerns City Councilors hadn't properly thought through the costs associated with the office. Others wanted additions made to the ordinance to make sure OIM decisions remained unbiased.

"I am very concerned that the OIM could easily become an organization whose reviews and recommendations start from a bias against police actions," said Susan Phillips.

The vote is now scheduled for September 11th at 5pm.

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