Judge To Rule On Tulsa FOP Restraining Order Request On Friday

Tuesday, June 15th 2010, 11:15 am
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK --  The Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police asked a Tulsa County District Court judge Tuesday to issue them a temporary restraining order concerning the recent decision to impose term limits on officers in specialty units. 

The decision to kick out any police officer, who's been in a specialty unit or combination of them for 15 years, came last month when the City of Tulsa settled the years-old lawsuit filed by the Black officer's coalition. 

5/25/2010 Related Story: Tulsa Police Chief: Department Working On Special Unit Reassignments

The Fraternal Order of Police says the City of Tulsa can't change a policy on the police department without going through the collective bargaining process. They say it violates the city contract with officers and also state labor laws.

They want the judge to stop the move, which takes effect in August, until other agencies can decide whether imposing term limits is legal. 

They say putting things on hold for a while doesn't hurt anyone, but moving forward, has potential to cause great harm for solving crimes, especially in homicide.

"We're going to lose three experienced detectives and bring in three new ones, which compounds the problem. The cases the old detectives are working on will go on a shelf while the new ones are being trained and new cases will come in, which will double up their load," said FOP Attorney Jim Moore.

The City's attorneys said the term limits are legal and were already approved by a federal judge and should be left alone, especially since they are key to ending a 16-year-long, expensive legal battle that is just three months away from finally being over.

They said the FOP is trying to make an end run around the federal courts. They say term limits only affect a small number of officers on the force and should be implemented as the federal court expects.

The judge said she will make her decision on Friday.