TCSO To Be Reviewed By Outside Firm

Wednesday, May 27th 2015, 7:55 pm
By: News On 6

One of the three national organizations that sent proposals to the Tulsa County sheriff for a comprehensive assessment of the office will be hired in the coming weeks.

Sheriff Stanley Glanz created a committee made up of his undersheriff, county commissioners and the budgeting officer for the county. They will select the firm by the middle of June to complete a thorough review of the sheriff's office.

The review comes after suspect Eric Harris was shot and killed by Reserve Deputy Bob Bates in April when, Bates said, he mistakenly fired his gun instead of his Taser.

Special Coverage: TCSO Reserve Deputy Shooting Controversy

Following the shooting, allegations began to surface from a 2009 investigation saying Bates received special treatment and, at the time, did not have proper training.

Bates has since been charged with second-degree manslaughter, Undersheriff resigned, the head of the task force is on vacation until he retires in July and the major in charge of the media for the sheriff's office, is on paid suspension pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation.

The sheriff said he wants the firm to do a comprehensive review of the following areas:

  • Use of force and post shooting policies, procedures and training
  • Reserve deputy officer training, policies, supervision
  • Recommended best practices for record keeping, what to keep and for how long and allowing public access to those records
  • The organizational structure, where power is located, communication and decision-making

Glanz wants them to propose the best way to communicate with the public through all forms of technology, determine the best ways to have community interaction and involvement and do a manpower and salary study as well.

Some of the areas are similar to requests made by groups protesting the sheriff's office.

One group is still getting signatures petition to have a grand jury investigate and remove Glanz from office. They have until near the end of June to collect 5,000 signatures of registered voters.

The sheriff hopes the firm will have its work done by the middle of September.

As far as the criminal case against Bates and the OSBI investigation requested by the district attorney's office, both will continue to move forward.

The attorneys representing the Harris family released a statement Wednesday afternoon regarding the investigation saying, in part, they had little confidence that it would be meaningful.

"First, any “outside” assessment will be paid for by Tulsa County. Second, and more importantly, the contractor will be selected by Sheriff Glanz's professional and political cronies," the statement read.

You can read the full release here.