TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum unveiled the final draft of his plan to establish the Office of the Independent Monitor and the Citizen Oversight Board for the Tulsa Police Department.
Bynum and city councilors said the plan is like the one Denver has for its police officers, but with changes that address what are viewed as negative aspects to Denver's current system.
Denver's independent monitor has the power to discipline and sanction any officer it finds committed wrongdoing, but Tulsa's independent monitor, if established, will simply review policies, procedures and internal affairs investigations. Punishment would be left up to the police chief.
The independent monitor, Bynum said, will not just focus on the bad stuff that may happen at the police department. If established, the monitor will also examine ways to improve community policing plans and relations between TPD and Tulsans.
The second half of the proposal establishes an 11-member advisory board. Two members will be at-large, and nine others will come from each city council district.
This board will have to hold a minimum of three meetings in the community to hear concerns and reform ideas from residents. Currently, that is being handled by city councilors, but many times the meetings have gone on for sometimes five hours and have been included in unrelated meetings.
The board will report its findings to city council and ask for reforms based on community feedback and their opinions.
Bynum said the people who will serve on both the Citizens Oversight Board and the board that will select the city's first independent monitor will have some policing experience, so people with no idea how law enforcement works will not be able to dive into policy making without knowledge.
Officials from the Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police were at the meeting Wednesday, and said this is the first time they are hearing about the final draft of the proposal.
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