By Tulsa United League for Social Action
In March of 2017, the Tulsa Commission of Community Policing released 77 recommendations based on the six pillars of community policing as laid out by the President’s Taskforce on 21st Century Policing. The city created a dashboard to track the implementation of these recommendations which has shown from the outset that, according to self-assessment by an unknown city entity, all the recommendations are in progress, are actively being implemented or have been completed. The United League for Social Action (TULSA), a community coalition committed to accountability and transparency from law enforcement, has taken the time to review these 77 recommendations and has found the following:
The framing and phrasing of these recommendations utilized “should” 79 times across 77 recommendations, with few details on who is responsible and avenues to accomplish these recommendations. “Should” has the connotation of an ideal rather than something planned and actionable.
- There is little verifiability to the recommendations the city has labeled as “completed” which leads TULSA to retitle these “recommendations” as “claims.”
- There is little to no evidence of the formal implementation of new policies. A key example of this is that the policy provided for body-worn cameras in the dashboard, which cites page 318 of the Public Policy Manual, is, in fact, an older policy for Mobile Vehicle Recording Systems. This policy is specific to police vehicles and does not encompass body-worn cameras. In fact, body-worn cameras are not mentioned once in the current Public Policy Manual.
An update written on the dashboard on November 8th, 2017 claims that TPD has a representative on the “Compassionate Tulsa Human Rights Commission.” As of November 15th, 2017, there is no known TPD representative on the Compassionate Tulsa Committee of the Human Rights Commission.
Methodology & Findings
TULSA reviewed each of the 77 claims individually, and updates made to each claim through November 14th, 2017, by using the following resources:
- The most recent Tulsa Police Department Public Policy Manual
- The President’s Taskforce on 21st Century Policing
- Local newspapers and networks
- Social media posts, pages, and events
- Peace Officer Standards and Training
TULSA rated these claims by answering Yes or No to each of the following criteria:
- Measurability: Can it be measured with numeric specificity?
- Verifiability: Can it be found online, in the news or witnessed in person?
- Policy Accessibility: Can it be found in writing that is publicly available and distributed online or to the entire community through some method?
- Timebound: Is there a set deadline or frequency?
Each of these criteria is worth 25 percentage points out of the total 100% Accountability Score. Each pillar, consisting of a various number of claims, was scored using these criteria. TULSA assessed each claim independently and averaged their scores to determine the overall score for that pillar. The overall Accountability Score of all 77 claims is 14%.
Each individual pillar and its claims scored the following:
TULSA calculated the average score for each of the criteria across the 77 claims and found that 25% of the claims are measurable, 22% are verifiable, 4% have an accessible policy and 3% are timebound.
We expect more. The community and our police officers deserve more.