Tulsa Police SWAT report released

Tuesday, February 21st 2006, 11:49 am
By: News On 6

There is shake-up at the Tulsa Police Department as two deputy chiefs have been re-assigned and five of the nine majors have been transferred.

The new acting Tulsa Police Chief Bill Wells[pictured], who has taken over while Police Chief Dave Been is on administrative leave, says he made the moves in order to comply with a report recently received that's critical of the department’s SWAT team.

News on 6 reporter Lori Fullbright now has a copy of that report, minus names and tactical information the city attorney crossed out. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE REPORT (pdf file) It is the information News on 6 reported Monday night.

Lori Fullbright also obtained a letter that disputes some of those criticisms. It says the report is full of mistakes and mischaracterizations. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE REBUTTAL (pdf file)

The expert hired by the city, Ron McCarthy says he saw disturbing trends. He says the SWAT team was too quick to use deadly force in some incidents and too slow in others. He says in-fighting has led to situations that puts officers and citizens in unsafe situations. Consultant Ron McCarthy: "For example, an incident where an officer was shot, but he was shot in the vest. So it didn't hurt him. Therefore, that incident was viewed by some as being appropriately handled, when in fact the officer shouldn't have been shot in the first place."

McCarthy made 10 preliminary recommendations. Acting Chief Bill Wells says his re-assignments are based on those recommendations. "One of the first things it says is identify and replace those in charge of oversight to the SWAT team and we identified them and replaced them."

Police Chief Dave Been had already started that process before being put on leave. He had accepted the resignation of the SWAT Captain and appointed a replacement and began an internal review of an officer accused of tampering with evidence.

Tulsa Police assignment changes from a Tulsa Police Department news release [2/21/2006]:

"Effective immediately is the move of Deputy Chief Mark Andrus to manage the Administrative Bureau and Deputy Chief Mark McCrory to manage the Operations Bureau.

Effective March 1 are the following transfers: Major Rod Hummel to Special Operations Dvision, Major Daryl Webster to Uniform Division East, Major Paul Williams to Uniform Division North, Major Rob Turner to Headquarters Division, and Major Dennis Larsen to Uniform Division Southwest."