Tulsa Police Chief Discusses Policy Changes After Conducting Study on Use-of-Force

Wednesday, July 15th 2020, 6:58 pm
By: Ashlyn Brothers

TULSA, Okla. -

Tulsa police said they are ready to make changes to their use-of-force policy.

The move is based on a study titled "A Multi-Method Investigation of Officer Decision-Making and Force Used or Avoided in Arrest Situations" that the Tulsa Police Chief presented at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

Chief Franklin said the overarching goal of the study is to evaluate the use of force during arrests, lower injuries and deaths under stressful circumstances, and prevent victimization of police.

Tulsa police partnered with researchers to analyze nearly 32,000 arrests. Of those, 1.7% involved the use of force. The study found that force was used against men about three times more than women, but there were no differences in frequency of force against minorities compared to white people.

The Tulsa Police Department walked away with 5key policy changes, including expanding their use of data by reporting any firm grip force regardless of injury. Officers will detail the force used, injuries sustained, and the demeanor of the suspect. They will also document instances where deadly force could've been used but wasn't. TPD is revising their canine unit practices, and regularly comparing their use-of-force policy and training to other accredited departments.

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said the community will not be involved in any policy making decisions.

"We are paid a salary to be the professionals and be the ones that know the ins and outs of policing and what's going on [...] and we will use best practices and things of that nature to drive our decision making,” Chief Franklin said. 

Tulsa police said they hope these improvements increase accountability and earn them more trust in the community.