Mayor G.T. Bynum announced Wednesday the four internal finalists to become the city’s next police chief and said he is assembling a panel of local residents to question those candidates.
The panel interview will be part of the mayor’s second round of interviews with the candidates on Friday and will not be open to the public.
The public will have the opportunity to meet the candidates at 6 p.m. Friday in the auditorium at Ellen Ochoa Elementary School, 12000 E. 31st St.
“This will provide an opportunity for each of the applicants to introduce themselves and their vision for the Tulsa Police Department,” Bynum said in an email to TPD personnel and city councilors. “Following those introductions, the applicants will be available to visit informally with those in attendance. I certainly encourage you to attend this meeting if you would like to learn more about each of them.”
Bynum is expected to announce the panelists’ names Thursday. He has been speaking with stakeholders across the community to get their recommendations on who should sit on the panel.
“We are assembling this panel so a diversity of viewpoints are included in that second round with the applicants,” Bynum said. “No group recommendation will be made. I want each individual’s candid assessment to help me make this decision.”
On Wednesday morning Bynum announced that he had narrowed the field of internal candidates to succeed Police Chief Chuck Jordan from seven to four. Jordan is retiring Feb. 1.
The finalists are Deputy Chief Jonathan Brooks, Deputy Chief Eric Dalgleish, Maj. Wendell Franklin and Deputy Chief Dennis Larsen.
Bynum also laid out his plan for continued public engagement in the selection process.
Brooks, 48, joined the Police Department in 1998. He oversees the department’s Operations Bureau.
Dalgleish, 47, is responsible for TPD’s Administrative Bureau. He has been on the police force since 1996.
Franklin was hired by the Police Department in 1997. The 46-year-old is over the Headquarters Division.
Larsen, 64, was hired by the city in 1979. He oversees the Investigations Bureau.
Bynum has spent the last several weeks talking to people in the community about what they would like to see in the next police chief and the Police Department.
Those conversations included three town hall meetings at which several speakers called on him to allow residents to ask questions of the candidates after he had narrowed the field.
Bynum responded to those requests by saying he wants to be respectful of the hiring process and does not want to turn it into a popularity contest.
A group of community leaders and elected officials sent Bynum a letter last week requesting that he convene stakeholders identified by city councilors to be part of a formalized recommendation process. The group also called for him to extend the search nationwide.
City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper was among those who signed the letter to the mayor.
She said Wednesday that the creation of the community panel is a step in the right direction but added that she had hoped he would consult with her and other councilors about who should be on it, “because, otherwise, it is just going to be perceived that he is just electing people that are going to agree with him.”
“I know that is how my community is going to see that,” Hall-Harper said.
Bynum has repeatedly said he has not ruled out an external search. He’s also made clear that he believes it is more likely than not that the new police chief will come from what he’s described as a field of highly qualified internal candidates.
Bynum has not set a deadline for selecting a new police chief.
Gallery: Finalists for Tulsa police chief named by Mayor Bynum