Settlement between the city of Tulsa and the black officers coation will mean expensive changes ahead

Tuesday, May 13th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Now that a federal judge has agreed to the settlement between the black officers coalition and the city of Tulsa, the Tulsa Police Department must make a number of changes.

And, those changes aren't cheap. In fact, they’ll cost around a million dollars. News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright explains why the deal is so expensive.

The most expensive thing is a new massive computer system that will keep track of every single time an officer and a citizen have contact. For instance, if the city wants to know how often officers are using their pepper spray; the new system can check it by officer, by squad or even by shift. So that if one squad is spraying people a lot more than any other, the department can figure out why.

Also, the department must create new jobs to put all that information into the computer. It must also create a position where someone helps officers get promoted, by suggesting they take certain classes or get additional training. Another expensive part of the plan is doing all the things required to become accredited by a national police organization called CALEA.

Also, a number of policies that are currently unwritten must now be put into writing. Like, most officers know if they don't back up a fellow officer on a call, they'll get in trouble, now that will be spelled out in a policy. Or if officers say something negative about the police department, they can't be retaliated against. Those types of things will now be in writing.

The police union wanted the discrimination lawsuit to go to trial and let all the facts come out. But that didn't happen and now the union plans to appeal the settlement.

In the meantime, the changes start going into effect soon.