In March 2017, community members, law enforcement and city officials released the Findings and Recommendations of the Tulsa Commission on Community Policing, which outlined 77 specific recommendations for the Tulsa Police Department (TPD) to help build trust and legitimacy, improve policy and oversight, reduce crime and provide specific initiatives to help with training, technology and officer wellness. Over the past three years, TPD has been implementing all recommendations except for the remaining recommendation for community policing evaluation and officer hiring.
In February 2019, Mayor Bynum proposed the creation of the Office of the Independent Monitor (OIM) to focus on three key areas remaining in the recommendations - oversight, community outreach and policy. In addition to its focus on oversight and outreach, Mayor Bynum’s proposal also charged the OIM with issuing policy analysis and recommendations to the Tulsa Police Department in key areas, including community policing.
With an OIM not in place, Mayor Bynum proposed using a portion of the OIM funding originally allocated in the FY20 budget to continue the momentum for community policing by issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to have outside experts conduct community policing evaluation and planning. The City of Tulsa required respondents to utilize the CBPAR Community Based Participatory Action Research model, which actively engages community members and organizations who have a personalized knowledge of the needs, concerns, and strategies impacting them as co-researchers.