Sand Springs Police Chief Works To Calm Community's Fears

Thursday, July 21st 2016, 6:53 pm
By: Emory Bryan

The surge in violence against police officers has the Sand Springs Police Chief working to calm any anxieties in his town.

He's expanding training for officers and trying to quickly respond to concerns from the public.

Chief Mike Carter says social media sites -- like Facebook -- help his department communicate with the public, but he's concerned about some comments directed at police.

"I think social media is a magnifier,” Sand Springs Police Chief Mike Carter said. “It's something that people sit behind a keyboard and say things they wouldn't say to a person otherwise."

And so as the talk gets more heated, Carter has tried to relay things from an officer's perspective. And says if people have a complaint, the place to address that is in court or with the department --not with violence.

“We have now extended this unspoken right to physically resist or commit violence against police officers and as a civilized society,” Carter said. “We can't tolerate that. That has to stop.”

Carter pointed to the restraint his officers showed this past week when a man who appeared threatening -- asked them to shoot him.

Instead as soon as they saw he wasn't armed - they tackled him - with no serious injuries to anyone.

Chief Carter says he's hopeful people will tone down the criticism - but that departments also need to do more to build relationships.

“We have to look at our own house and say what can we do as a police department to listen to the concerns being expressed and address those,” Carter said.