Community Policing

Tulsa Police

On this edition of ST, we learn about the Tulsa Police Department's ongoing efforts to implement recommendations submitted earlier this year by the Tulsa Commission on Community Policing. In particular, we focus on the Department's implementation of a Community Response Team (or CRT) program; this is an initiative still in its "pilot" stage. As we learn today from our guest, Tulsa Police Deputy Chief Jonathan Brooks, the three-person CRT team includes an officer from the Police Department, a paramedic from the Tulsa Fire Department, and a mental health professional.

KWGS News File Photo

Last night, a jury here in Tulsa acquitted one Betty Shelby -- a white Tulsa Police officer -- who had been charged with first-degree manslaughter after she shot and killed an unarmed black man named Terence Crutcher last September. Some people in this community feel that justice has been served, while others feel, as was stated by Rev. Joey Crutcher, the victim's father, after the verdict came down: "I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder." Where does Tulsa go from here?

Our guest is Prof. Barry Friedman, who is the Fuchsberg Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and the director of the Policing Project. He joins us to discuss his new book, "Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission." As noted of this widely acclaimed study in a starred review in Kirkus: "A law professor diagnoses the ills of American policing and prescribes a healthy dose of sunlight. 'Policing in the United States -- from the overzealous beat cop all the way to the NSA -- is out of control,' writes Friedman, and the fault lies not with the police but with us.

On this installment of ST, we speak with author Norm Stamper, who was a police officer for more than 30 years, first in San Diego and then in Seattle, where he retired as that city's police chief. He is widely credited as the architect of the nation's first community policing program and served as a founding member of President Bill Clinton's National Advisory Council on the Violence Against Women Act.

Police violence, police shootings, and police brutality -- and acts of murder or terror committed against the police themselves -- have been on the rise in America in ways that are deeply and pervasively troubling -- not to mention downright scary.