TULSA – As the conversation revolving around law enforcement-involved shootings continues, one group in Tulsa announced its recommendations for change.
We the People Oklahoma (WTPO) held a press conference Tuesday to reveal some policy ideas they have for local and state law enforcement agencies.
The announcement came about a week after five police officers and two black men were killed in three separate incidents within the course of four days.
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The group’s recommendations are listed below.
1. Blood testing to be required for officers in officer-related shootings.
2. Adding revisions to police reports if anything changes
3. Putting law enforcement agencies’ policies online to, says WTPO, promote transparency.
What do you think of the policy recommendations?
“The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office values our relationship with the community and as well as the safety of deputies”, said Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado on Tuesday. “The mental and physical health of our deputies is paramount. After a deputy is involved in a traumatic incident such as a shooting, we have measures in place to address any psychological needs they may have.
"At TCSO we always strive to improve our level of service to our community through education, training and experience,” says Regalado. “We are open to meeting with members of our community to hear their suggestions on how we can better serve them. But since being elected as Sheriff, I have not been contacted by anyone from ‘We the People’ to ask for a meeting.”
The Tulsa Police Department also sent a statement, as per the TPD police chief, saying "In response to the recent news conference from 'We the People of Oklahoma' and their request for policy changes within the Tulsa Police Department. I would like to address the three issues separately:
1. We are currently working on placing all of our Policy and Procedures on our web-site.
2. Currently, TPD can request a blood or urinalysis test if a supervisor believes any officer is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. TPD does have the ability to request a psychiatric evaluation on any officer if deem necessary. City Policy and the Collective Bargain Agreement do not allow drug testing or psychology evaluation without the presence of other indicators. Psychology testing results or even the fact that such testing is performed is not subject to public record. Actions taken as a result of drug testing or psychology evaluations would be accessible to the public in the form of a department order detailing resolution of the issue.
3. TPD does not revise reports. Supplemental reports are only submitted as further evidence becomes known. Because of privacy issues and state guidelines, only the cover sheet of the reports is released to the public. The narratives of these reports are not subject to open records.
Since becoming the Chief of Police, I have always maintained an open door policy. I’m not opposed to sitting down with any organization and discussing ways to improve my department’s communication with all citizens of Tulsa."
A Scripps investigative team looked into records from 60 agencies in 15 different cities regarding police force in November 2015. Read more about the team’s findings here.
In February of 2016, another Scripps investigation delved into a policy that was rather new at the time. It allowed officers involved in a shooting, whether they pulled the trigger or not, cannot be questioned by investigators for three days. It also allows an officer to review video of an altercation before telling investigators what took place. Read more about that investigation here.