Policing award for Sand Springs
LAW ENFORCEMENT • City earns international award for community policing efforts, evolving plan
For three years, Sand Springs police have published their policing plan — a living document guided by community input that dictates how the department ought to conduct itself.
The document has become the guiding philosophy for the department, and the policing plan and the annual effort to improve it has gained international recognition. Sand Springs Police Chief Mike Carter said community-oriented policing is not foreign for those in his department.
“This isn't a new thing where we said `We're now going to be believing in community policing,'” Carter said. “This is just a new format for how we can demonstrate that.”
On Tuesday, the International Association of Chiefs of Police awarded to the department and the Sand Springs community the Leadership in Community Policing award for cities in their population bracket. Cisco Systems, the technology conglomerate, co-sponsored the award with the IACP. Cisco representatives, in a blog post announcing the winners of the award, recognized the department for its policing plan.
“Sand Springs officers and the public have direct input into the annually produced plan, resulting in organizational and community buy-in,” a Cisco spokesman wrote in the post.
The policing plan was based, in part, on suggestions included in the U.S. Department of Justice report on police activity in Ferguson, Missouri, after the death of Michael Brown in 2014.
“You can't have community policing be a one-way conversation,” Carter said. “It can't be `let us tell you who we are, that we don't want to know what you want us to be.'”
While much of the Department of Justice report on Ferguson focused on inordinate policing and punishment for people of color, especially black citizens, the new policies deal
the general public, said Mark Woodward, spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control.
Data that goes into the ODMAP app is collected by first responders, often within minutes of arriving at an overdose scene, officials said. The responders don't report identifying information about the victim to the app but do report the location, age and gender of the victim, along with information about whether the overdose was fatal, officials said.
Scully said the state medical examiner already is reporting information on all Oklahoma overdose deaths for the app. Data about nonfatal overdoses will become more complete as rollout of the app expands.
The app contains an alert feature that will allow law enforcement officials to be notified if a certain number of overdoses are reported in a specific area within a set time frame, he said.
Having that data available so quickly will enable law enforcement officials to respond by deploying additional investigators to problem areas or notifying health professionals and the public if a particularly dangerous batch of drugs has shown up in an area, he said.
The ODMAP application has been rolled out previously in other states. Its use in Oklahoma was recommended by the Oklahoma Commission on Opioid Abuse, which was created at the recommendation of Hunter, its chairman. package approved by in 2016.
The two main elements of the project are transformation of the historic convention center arena into a 40,000-square-foot ballroom and the construction of a three-story clear glass lobby on the east side of the building.
The convention center's kitchen and storage space will be upgraded and expanded as part of the project.
Painter said the current phase involves cutting away at the concrete risers in the arena that used to be the base for seating. The risers are connected to the interior walls.
She said the work takes more time than typical demolition because crews are trying to cut away the risers without damaging the walls.
“It would be so much easier to just smash it,” she said. “But we want to keep the shell of the building intact.”
A 30,000-square-foot ballroom was constructed in the Cox Business Center as part of an earlier capital improvements package. The new 40,000-squarefoot ballroom is needed to accommodate larger events, such as the Bassmaster Classic, which can take up the entire convention center, and to provide the space and flexibility to hold multiple events at once, she said.
“Even the little bit that was taken out, you can really see how vast the room is going to be,” she said.
Crews are also removing large, unneeded equipment such as boilers and clearing out the ceiling of the former arena, she said.
In March or April, crews will be working on the lobby area, she said, where renovations will include removal of a staircase and installation of an escalator.
The entire project is expected to be complete in August.
The convention center opened March 8, 1964, as the Tulsa Civic Assembly Center. It was renamed the James L. Maxwell Convention Center in 1985 in honor of former Mayor Jim Maxwell. In was later called the Tulsa Convention Center before being renamed the Cox Business Center in 2013.