Oklahoma City Police Chief Reacts To Suggested Changes To Officer-Involved Shooting Procedure


Tuesday, August 10th 2021, 11:07 pm
By: Barry Mangold


OKLAHOMA CITY -

The Oklahoma City government released a preliminary report of recommended changes to the police department on Tuesday. 

“I think they’re all great ideas and I think that there are things we’ve already been looking at, some of them that we are doing, but we can do better,” Police Chief Wade Gourley said of the 32 recommendations by consulting company 21CP Solutions. 

Click here to read the full report. 

The 33-page document covers a wide span of topics ranging from body camera footage procedures, youth outreach, responding to mental health calls and more. 

“There’s nothing that I look at in there that I think, ‘This is crazy or outlandish,’ or anything like that,” Gourley said at a media conference Tuesday. “I look at some of them and think, ‘How do we get there, how do we get to that point?’” 

Some of the ideas target how the department internally reviews officer-involved shootings and how they are investigated. 

The report’s fifth and sixth recommendations say Oklahoma City police officers involved in a shooting should not be able to watch video evidence, such as body camera footage before they are interviewed by investigators. 

Also, the report says Oklahoma City police should more quickly interview officers involved in a shooting.

“Ideally, officers would be interviewed before end of shift in most circumstances,” reads recommendation number six. 

Current policy allows officers involved in a shooting to watch body camera footage and other video evidence before speaking with investigators who determine if the shooting was justified. 

Gourley said he supports the recommended changes to the department's policy, but that it must be agreed upon by the local Fraternal Order of Police. 

“I do support, on its face, that the officers should be interviewed prior to viewing the body-worn camera,” Gourley said. “It’s a negotiation, back and forth. Our union has always been really receptive.” 

The president of the Oklahoma City Police FOP, John George, was not available to comment directly on the recommended changes to officer-involved shooting procedure on Tuesday. 

George released a statement on behalf of the FOP to comment on the full list of proposed changes: 

“While we have had no formal discussions about these recommendations, it is clear many of them would be subject to negotiation under our collective bargaining agreement. We look forward to participating in the ongoing process of determining what is best for Oklahoma City.” 

The list of recommendations was compiled after public meetings involving the city’s Enforcement Policy Task Force and Community Policing Working Group. 

Assistant City Manager Kenton Tsoodle said the consulting company 21CP Solutions will work with the city to further develop the recommendations. 

Tsoodle said it’s possible the city council could consider the changes in late fall or winter.