2016-06-27 ne-equalitymeeting3905 (copy)

The topic of Wednesday’s meeting is racial and gender representation in the Tulsa Police Department and practices in place to improve recruitment and retention of minority officers. Tulsa World file

The third of four City Council special meetings on the city’s Equality Indicators reports will be held Wednesday.

The topics of the meeting are racial and gender representation in the Tulsa Police Department and practices in place to improve recruitment and retention of minority officers.

The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the Liddy Doenges Theatre at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, 110 E. Second St.

No questions or comments will be taken from the public. Instead, councilors will question a panel of experts on the subject.

The panelists are Melanie Poulter, Equality Indicators project manager at the Community Service Council; Lynn Jones, a retired Tulsa Police Department major; Sandra Quince, diversity and inclusion executive at Bank of America; Erica Felix-Warwick, city of Tulsa personnel director; Deputy Police Chief Eric W. Dalgleish; and Tulsa Police Department Maj. Ryan Perkins.

The city has released two Equality Indicators reports, one in 2018 and one in 2019. The reports use a number of factors, including age, gender and income, to measure outcomes and identify inequalities.

More than 50 local residents joined the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund last year in demanding that the City Council hold public hearings on the reports. The meetings are intended to give the public a better understanding of how the results were determined and to generate discussion on how to address inequalities identified in the reports.

The meetings have focused specifically on the reports’ findings related to disparities in police practices.

The City Council last week held a hearing to give the public an opportunity to comment on the subjects that will be discussed at Wednesday night’s special meeting. Several speakers told councilors that the Police Department has to do more to ensure that its staff is reflective of the community as a whole.

Speaking after the meeting, Maj. Ryan Perkins defended the Tulsa Police Department’s efforts to attract a diverse workforce.

“Compare us to Oklahoma City or the Oklahoma Highway Patrol,” he said. “We have better current diversity numbers.”

The council will host its next Equality Indicators special meeting in September. The topic will be racial and gender disparities in police arrests of adults.

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Kevin Canfield

918-645-5452

kevin.canfield@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @aWorldofKC

Staff Writer

Kevin Canfield has covered local government in Tulsa for nearly two decades. He also has reported on downtown development, zoning and community planning.

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