OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – The Oklahoma City Police Department is asking for more money for next year’s budget.
The agency is looking to address mental health, human rights and homelessness, but some say the department’s plans don’t match what the community wants.
“As we hear about the next rollout of investment of hundreds of millions of our dollars in policing, we still have a police force that is disproportionately violent,” said Nicole McAfee, American Civil Liberties Union Director of Policy and Advocacy.
Oklahoma City Police Chief Wade Gourley acknowledged the city is seeing a trend.
“All around the country, there has been a trend of violent crime being on an uptick,” said Gourley. “So, we wanted to figure out better ways to address that, and we had noticed that it has started within Oklahoma City over the last few years, too.”
According to the Police Department’s presentation, only 1.7 percent of 1,066 arrests have resulted in a use of force, and there haven’t been any formal complaints.
McAfee says this information still doesn’t support the community’s needs.
“As we enter another municipal budget cycle, Oklahoma City Government is responding by taking comments from city residents and not by listening to them and deeply responding to the needs,” said McAfee.
However, Chief Gourley said the department has been listening to the community feedback. Public response is the reason behind its new reality-based training program.
“Our goal is to simulate realistic critical incidents through scenario-based training and continually enhanced each officer’s ability to adapt to stress, to make sound tactical decisions that further our commitment to the sanctity of life,” said Gourley.
OKCPD believes the proposed budget could help bridge the gap between citizens and the police force.
If you would like to learn more about the police department’s proposed budget, click here.