TULSA, Okla. — Mayor G.T. Bynum announced a plan Wednesday to help push the city's community policing program forward.
Mayor Bynum is creating the Office of the Independent Monitor (OIM) in the upcoming fiscal year to help with policy, outreach and oversight in use-of-force incidents.
The city says the Tulsa Police Department has been working on the implementation of 77 community policing recommendations such as instituting body cameras for all field officers and implementing implicit bias training for all officers. TPD says they have fully implemented 97 percent of those recommendations on an ongoing basis.
The two recommendations remaining for the department include the oversight system, which the new OIM will be meant to fulfill, and the increase of training hours.
According to the City of Tulsa, the OIM's policy aspect will review best practices and provide recommendations on policy and procedure to improve the city's community policing approach over time. For outreach, OIM will be meant to "facilitate citizen dialogue and feedback to continue transparency." The oversight function is to follow up on citizen complaints and review Tulsa police Internal Affairs investigations on use-of-force to "ensure the correct process was utilized and issue public reports of its findings."
In creating the new office, Mayor Bynum said he will work with the City Council to create a Citizen Oversight Board composed of appointed citizens to assess the effectiveness of the OIM. The Board would also find the lead for the Office of the Independent Monitor.
The city says they learned about the OIM concept through Denver which has had the officer for almost 15 years.
UPDATE: Tulsa's Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 93 released the following statement:
Police Chief Chuck Jordan told FOX23 he was aware the Mayor's office was interested in an independent oversight committee, but was not aware it was being green-lit until it was announced this week.
Jordan also defines Community Policing as a partnership between law enforcement and citizens to fight and prevent crime.
He says the committee could work well as long as there are people who understand the complex issue, included on the committee.
Jordan says he needs more details about how it would work before he can fully respond.
The Tulsa Fraternal of police also commented on the new idea.
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