- Read the original contract between Tulsa County and Community Safety Institute.
- Read the amended contract between Tulsa County and Community Safety Institute.
Last July, amid uproar following the Eric Harris shooting and the ensuing drama at the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, county commissioners finalized a contract with Texas-based Community Safety Institute to conduct an assessment of TCSO’s operations.
Terry Simonson, TCSO’s director of governmental affairs, said last summer he hoped part of the assessment would be finished in September. That didn’t happen. County officials said they expected the full report to take “up to five months,” putting it on course to be finalized by late December.
So where is it?
The contract was quietly amended in November, and updated the areas within TCSO being assessed, meaning the final report now is months behind schedule. TCSO Public Information Officer Justin Green said the last time he inquired, sheriff’s office officials expected the report to be complete “sometime in February.”
Commissioners originally picked CSI from a group of three such companies — Hillard Heintze of Chicago and Matrix Consulting Group of Dallas were the others — at a cost of $75,000.
Former Sheriff Stanley Glanz, who resigned from office last year after being indicted on two misdemeanor crimes after a lengthy grand jury investigation, had planned to hire CSI on his own before being urged by county officials to seek public bids. (Matrix’s proposed fee was $100,000; Heintze’s was $270,000.)
The amended CSI contract added an additional $30,000, meaning CSI’s bid is now the second-highest of the three proposals.
Former Tulsa Chief of Police Ron Palmer was critical of the CSI selection in an editorial in the Tulsa World last summer. Palmer noted that CSI’s website marketed the company “as school safety consultants and trainers, not police operational management evaluation experts.”
CSI’s executive director, John Matthews, defended the agency in a rebuttal.
CSI was contracted to conduct an organizational and operational assessment of the TCSO. The contract states the company would “conduct a two-pronged assessment of the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office,” which would consist of “the distribution and utilization of human resources; workload and staffing analysis; salary survey; and manpower analysis. The operational assessment will be comprised of an incident analysis and consist of; but not be limited to: a post-shooting assessment; analysis of reserve officer policies and procedures; survey of states statutes on reserve training and deployment; and a survey of successful community engagement initiatives.”
The amended contract added an additional $30,000 to the cost of the assessment, and its scope was expanded to include “the entire agency,” rather than just the “current Law Enforcement Division,” according to the contract.
The expansion was agreed upon a little more than a month after Glanz was indicted, and the amended contract states CSI will “address the eight recommendations” the grand jury made in its report. CSI said it will eventually present a “special report” to TCSO that will “ensure all recommendations are systematically addressed by the Sheriff’s Office.”
The eight grand jury recommendations
- The grand jury recommends that TCSO policies are adhered to closely and uniformly.
- Although CLEET has a grandfather policy the grand jury suggests that the TCSO adopts an internal policy that even if a person has been certified by CLEET if they have been absent from law enforcement for more than five years they must complete the full application process, testing, and training requirements of a full time deputy.
- The grand jury finds it necessary that the TCSO establish and adhere to policies specifically regarding training and experience requirements for assignment by department. In specific, specialized units such as SOT, task forces, etc.
- It has been determined that the method of training and personnel documentation compliance needs to be improved. The grand jury suggests a person or committee specifically tasked with making sure the training and personnel records are complete, uniform and up to date. These records should be subject to a regular audit.
- Better accountability of field training hours.
- The grand jury recommends that at any time a transfer or reassignment occurs, a copy of the deputy’s training records shall accompany that reassignment and be signed off on as complete and sufficient for the new assignment by the new chain of command.
- The grand jury requests that TCSO make the internal affairs department more autonomous from the TCSO itself. In addition it is recommended that each and every investigation be assigned an internal affairs number.
- The grand jury suggests that TCSO create some type of fully anonymous avenue for employees to report an issue. It is also suggest that these reports are documented and maintained.
The amended contract also expanded the number of training hours being provided to Public Information Officer Justin Green. Green became PIO last year after Shannon Clark, who acted as spokesman and jail administrator for TCSO, was fired. (Clark has indicated he intends to sue Tulsa County over his dismissal.)
Green, who was set to receive 80 hours of training in the original contract, had those training hours doubled under the amended version, at a cost of an additional $10,000.
County officials said last week they believed the final CSI report (which was done in pieces, and is partially complete,) will be finished soon, though no timetable exists.