TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday it has received proposals from three national firms on how to overhaul the agency in the wake of the shooting death of an unarmed man by a reserve deputy.
The proposals, received Monday, offer ways the office can improve performance, efficiency, accountability and public safety services, Sheriff Stanley Glanz said in a news release Wednesday.
“Over the past several weeks I have been evaluating the performance and operations in the sheriff’s office,” Glanz said. “I have determined that the time is right for a comprehensive, independent review of the management of our law enforcement operations.”
The proposals will be evaluated by a committee and one company will be recommended to county commissioners by June 8, Glanz said. The office received bids from Chicago-based Hillard Heintze, Mountain View, California,-based Matrix Consulting Group and Ovilla, Texas-based Community Safety Institute.
The timeline from there would be a contract signed by June 15, an initial visit that same month and the work completed by mid-September, Glanz said.
Terry Simonson, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said the bids range from $75,000 to $270,000. The study will be paid out of the Sheriff’s Fee Account, which are fees collected from the service of court papers.
“I believe the final report will provide us with a strategic plan which will recommend that we adopt some of the best practices that exist in law enforcement across the country today,” the sheriff sad.
The sheriff’s office has been widely criticized over the April 2 shooting, for which 73-year-old former volunteer deputy Robert Bates has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree manslaughter in the death of Eric Harris. Bates said he confused his stun gun and handgun.
Since the shooting, questions have arisen about the agency’s reserve deputy program and whether some wealthier supporters of the sheriff’s office have been given plush assignments or preferential treatment.
Weeks after the shooting, an attorney for Harris’ family released a 2009 memo in which several Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office members raised concerns about the performance and training of Bates, who has donated tens of thousands of dollars in cash and equipment. Bates also was Glanz’s campaign manager during the 2012 election.
Since then, two top administrators have resigned and a sheriff’s office spokesman is on paid administrative review. The reserve deputy program has been temporarily shelved pending an internal review of the certification and training records of its 126 reserve deputies.
The attorney general appointed an outside prosecutor to investigate at the request of Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler.
The process of an agency review began before the April 2 shooting, Simonson said, but Glanz put it on hold until about three weeks ago.
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