TULSA, Okla. — While presenting results before the Tulsa City Council of a research study analyzing use-of-force by the Tulsa Police Department over several years, Chief Wendell Franklin said the public will have no say in the development of any new use-of-force policy.
“The question was if there was going to be community input allowed in our policy decision-making, and the answer to that is no,” Franklin said, in response to a question from Councilor Lori Decter Wright.
“I think that 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. Again, I’ve mentioned before, of ceding authority to us to allow us to do that, and we will use best practices and things of that nature to drive our decision-making,” the chief said, according to Public Radio Tulsa.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Cincinnati, and was funded by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The research was titled, “A Multi-Method Investigation of Officer Decision-Making and Force Used or Avoided in Arrest Situations,” and compared the police departments in Tulsa and Cincinnati, Ohio.
Much to the chagrin of law enforcement nemesis’, the study’s findings conclude that race does not play a role in how much force police use on suspects; that officers are actually less likely to use high-level force when suspects show the highest levels of resistance; and that Tulsa Police use canines at a far higher rate than officers in Cincinnati.
One particular item of interest from the study was that Tulsa Police Department did not report all uses of “physical control tactics.”
Maj. Matt Kirkland told the council that they will begin recording those uses of force. As a result, they should expect the use-of-force numbers to increase since reporting requirements are changing, not that more force is necessarily being used.
As with other reporting factors, true comparisons can be made in the future once the criteria remains constant.