Interim police chief announced

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From the Mayor's Office to city employees:

I am pleased to announce today the selection of David Bostrom to serve as Interim Police Chief for the City of Tulsa. He will serve in this capacity beginning immediately and until I complete my review of applications and select a permanent chief. I will be making this announcement public this morning at a press conference, but I wanted to let you know prior to that announcement.

David is coming to us with outstanding credentials and will be moving from Wilmington Delaware. He has served in law enforcement for over 35 years and his career includes command roles with the City of Wilmington, Delaware and 23 years with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C.

I am very proud of our Tulsa Police Department and all that they have done to help reduce crime in our community. I have briefed David on the professionalism and qualities of all of our city employees and the many initiatives our police officers have worked to implement. Acting Chief McCrory and the command staff has met with David as well to bring him up to speed on the structure and operations at the TPD.

I want to personally thank Chief Mark McCrory for his service as acting Chief since the retirement of Chief Been. He has served with honor during a challenging time and I sincerely appreciate all of his efforts.

Thank you for all you do to support our city public safety officers and I hope you join with me and Chief McCrory in welcoming David Bostrom to Tulsa.

Sincerely,

Kathy Taylor
Mayor

MORE: From a quick Google, it appears that Bostrom is the former Public Safety Director for the City of Wilmington, Del., and that he left that post in 2000 after a newly elected mayor declined to rehire him.

This column from the Wilmington News Journal by Al Mascitti suggests that Bostrom was hired to deal with a rise in gang-related shootings, and that he tried to implement some form of community policing, but couldn't get the support of the police department, and the mayor that hired him didn't back him up:

There is no connection between a public opinion survey about Wilmington police and the news that David Bostrom will leave his city public safety post. But there should have been.

That Bostrom will depart with his boss, Mayor James H. Sills Jr., is no surprise. He's an outsider, brought here from Washington during Sills' second term, and never had a prayer of building a power base in City Hall....

Bostrom, to his credit, quickly realized the rancorous relations between the cops and the black community posed a greater long-term threat than the drug-related gunfire.

So he tried to institute community policing - a system of strengthening ties between officers and residents credited with reducing crime in such cities as Boston and Washington.

He might as well have tried breeding an attack opossum. His plans for six neighborhood "mini-stations" were foiled at every turn. Though it might be rent by problems with labor and race relations, there's one point on which everyone in the Wilmington Police Department agreed: It's safer to hunker in the bunker at Third and Walnut streets.

Mayor-in-waiting Jim Baker has indicated he intends to let them have their way on this point, and why not? He will have enough battles waiting when he takes office - why tick off the police?

Bostrom might have fared better with backing from Sills, but that would have constituted special treatment from this administration. In eight years Sills never learned how to back away from his liabilities, let alone back up his assets.

In the end, with nothing else to do, Bostrom was reduced to measuring the public's perception of its safety. The $30,000 University of Delaware study found slightly more people felt safer at night in their neighborhoods in 1999 than in 1998. Fittingly, the increase wasn't considered statistically significant.

A story about the new mayor's decision not to rehire Bostrom tells more about his background and the controversy with the police department:

Bostrom said he was not surprised when he received his letter. Baker had said during the campaign that he likely would not keep Bostrom as public safety director.

Mayor James H. Sills Jr. appointed Bostrom in 1997. He came from the Police Foundation, a nonprofit research group. He also served on the Washington, D.C. police force for 23 years.

"I live in the city, so of course I hope the Baker administration is successful in accomplishing all the things they want to get done to improve Wilmington," Bostrom said.

Bostrom oversaw the police and fire departments. Baker has not yet indicated whether Bostrom will be replaced or whether he will instead deal directly with the chiefs of those two departments.

Bostrom's tenure included a clash with the police union over his plan to patrol the city's neighborhoods. An arbitrator in 1998 ruled the plan was discriminatory and based on race. The plan was replaced with one that assigned officers based mostly on their seniority.

Some summer 1995 stories in the Washington Post identify Bostrom as a an inspector in Washington's Metropolitan Police Department and the commander for the 2nd District. Earlier in the year he was identified as commander of the MPD's special operations division. In 1990, Bostrom was identified as director of the planning and research division. In 1983. he was identified by the Post as a captain and assistant commander of the youth division.

An organization called Street Law lists Bostrom as a member of its board of directors and lists his affiliation as International Association of Chiefs of Police. In the 2002 program for the IACP convention, Bostrom is listed as Manager, Community Policing Consortium, part of the IACP's Programs and Research Directorate.

UPDATE: Someone e-mailed MeeCiteeWurkor with the information that Bostrom shows up in the city's computer network address book as "Chief of Police." Is the interim title just a way around legal complications from the lawsuit filed on behalf of the three internal candidates?

INTERESTING THEORY on why an interim has been appointed:

My guess is that he is being hired as a sort of short-term 'hatchet man' - someone to implement possibly unpopular policies. Then after those changes are implemented and the hubbub over them has died down, a new, permanent chief is brought in to maintain things.

A permanent new chief coming from the outside right away and changing things a whole lot would probably only find dissension and low morale after six months. After all, there were 3 people working for you that were qualified and wanted your job.

I think this may be a good move by the mayor.

To use a sports analogy:

Many times the head coach that is hired to replace a long-time head coach has difficulty making it simply because the players and fans are used to the old coaches system. These replacement coaches frequently do not last long, but their replacement typically does because the players and fans are now accustomed to change.

UPDATE: The Street Law program, of which Bostrom is a board member, is an initiative of the Soros Foundation. Hat tip to commenter G. Hanna.

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20 Comments

sbtulsa said:

interesting that we have an "acting chief" as opposed to a final solution. do we need a new search and another $100,000 to find the permanent Been replacement?

He sounds like a paper pusher and a theorist more than a "cop". twenty three years on the DC force seems a distant memory.

Also noticed the mayor's paper press conference did not say he was a candidate for the permanent post. How much can this guy really accomplish while mayor mom is dithering?

slaw said:

If you don't like what's going on in Tulsa YOU jump in and try to fix it since you find fault in everything that is going on. We are all tired of people creating a riot with "their thoughts and comments" and aren't willing to do anything to better the situation. If you don't like the mayor then spend time creating a group of people working to ensure she won't get elected again. But then who will it be that you complain about then... The mayor isn't working solo and making these decisions without support - she is accountable for the Tulsa budget and monies. Why can't you be planning to meet with this new man and offering your help and support so that anything he tries to accomplish and better the city will work instead of already fighting against him. Don't you tire of yourself?

DavidS said:

I'm all for giving this guy a chance. Some of his ideas might fit. He will need more officers though if anything is going to work or even give a chance for him to fix. Whats the worst that could happen other than we find our police dept. in front of the courts again.
It will be interesting to see how community policing unfolds in Tulsa, I just hope it includes E. Tulsa too!

Jeremy Good said:

I'm sensing that Mayor Taylor is more interested in a police chief that knows how to create and implement a gun free city like DC was, than a chief experienced in real police work. Her first trip as mayor was to New York for a gun grab conference. I don't like what I smell.

I'm not sure, slaw, if you're attacking me or sbtulsa, but either way, I find your attitude curious. This morning, I posted the Mayor's full message verbatim almost as soon as I received it. I then posted, without comment, what I gleaned from an online newspaper archive about Bostrom's background and experience. You seem to be perceiving a hostile intent in what I've written, when all I've done is lay out information for readers like you to process as you will.

By the way, how does someone posting from Oregon get to be interested in who is the Tulsa police chief?

slaw said:

The world and tv and print are full of "suggestive comments" that can cause hurt, confusion, and negativity. It's a shame you have to use the word attack for what I have said. You are known not to like the mayor, the governor, religious groups, other elected officials, things that don't suit you in Tulsa. I am just saying if you don't like them, be a partner to fix them. Everyone can complain to death and find fault in anyone that disagrees with them. You realize how difficult it is nowadays to serve in the public. Imagine being a Tulsa policeman and being scrutinized for everything you did or didn't do and having it blasted on the tv, radio and these blogs sites - open for interpretation. And face serious lawsuits to ruin your career and your family that someone a little more powerful and wealthy might do to you. But I'll bet you if someone hurt one of your children or your wife or you had a car wreck and a member of your family was bleeding to death, you would call the city for help. All I am saying is give these servants of the public a chance. Negative or questionable comments cause trouble. We have enough trouble. I read on a blog "Oregon going to Hell" because the governor passed some gay issues in the state. Do you think everyone and the state is going to hell. I don't think so but these comments are hurtful, ridiculous and shallow minded. Give the mayor and this new man a chance. I believe you have a loving heart to do this.

Steve W said:

Isn't it interesting that in the summer of 2006, David Bostrom was a primary presenter at the National Community Policing Conference in 3 sessions of "Developing the Framework for Hiring & Recruiting Law Enforcement". Why isn't Mayor Taylor more forthcoming of her hiring reasons, temporary or not? He's just a consultant, right?

I'm wondering if he will try to institute his past idea of putting "mini-stations" in neighborhoods.
I can already see the uproar when the "mini-stations" would be placed only in crime-ridden neighborhoods, which would then be perceived as "racist".

Of course, since the term "mini-station" didn't fly before, perhaps they should be called "community peace officer pit stops." Complete with donuts and coffee for cops and citizens, Paul Tay police bicycles, and a side station where gangs can voluntarily give up their guns with the new "gun-free" laws that will be coming...

Looks like breeding attack possums is going to be a good idea after all, eh?

wait a minute. Did you say "slaw" is from Oregon?
That is interesting.
I wonder what Oregon ties the mayor or new police chief have?

slaw wrote:

And face serious lawsuits to ruin your career and your family that someone a little more powerful and wealthy might do to you. But I'll bet you if someone hurt one of your children or your wife or you had a car wreck and a member of your family was bleeding to death, you would call the city for help

slaw, seriously. I was looking for a job when I found this one. The mayor went outside of normal city procedures (some even say legal city procedures) to find this guy. It's not transparent to the people. The hiring firm was from California. I haven't seen a list of potential candidates, have you? The mayor a few months ago asked the public for our opinion in meetings across the city. Haven't heard much about those or how they applied the gleaned information to the searching process.
It's our right. No, it's our duty to question the motives and history of anybody that is going to run the police department. A police chief has a lot of power and can severely help or hurt a city based on his or her policies. I think it is healthy to give him a heads up to let him know we're watching.

As far as somebody hurting my children or wife, and bleeding to death, or getting in a car wreck.. that has very little to do with the Chief of Police in Tulsa, OK.
You still haven't said what you're doing in Oregon and what your interest in Tulsa's police chief is?

Jeff Shaw Author Profile Page said:

I think the job has been named "interim," because if the judge finally rules on the police officers lawsuit, about hiring from within, this guy may be out of a job. Only he won't be. KT will get him in. The police will give in on the lawsuit.

Mark my words, What KT wants, KT gets. She will do nothing for the city of Tulsa, but she will have amassed a large number of cronies.

Dan Paden said:

I told a co-worker just today, "I know it seems like I'm awfully negative, but that's just 'cause there's so much stupid stuff out there."

Yer darned if ya do and darned if ya don't. Open yer mouth an' say what ya think, and you're "negative," or a complainer, or an "aginner." Keep your mouth shut and "give people a chance" (noting that in Kathy Taylor's case, she's had quite enough of a chance to live up to a campaign promise to add more police officers and completely failed to do it), and when things go south, it'll be "Why didn't you open your mouth and say something? Why didn't you give us your input?"

I can't help but wonder what could possibly be so wrong with the Tulsa Police Department's internal training that apparently none of its veteran officers are ready to take over the chief's job. That really seems a bit unlikely, doesn't it? And if there are officers ready to take over that job, isn't it instantly clear that the mayor is making this decision based more on the politics of it than on anything else?

I have to laugh, though, at the thought of her bringing in a pro-gun control police chief. In Tulsa, OK? That sounds a little bit like inviting a blueberry to a pancake breakfast.

G Hanna said:

Here's a not so surprising connection to our new "interim" chief. George Soros!!!! Go Figure.

http://www.zoominfo.com/Search/PersonDetail.aspx?PersonID=177942907

I still believe that Mayor Taylor should make her choice from the three candidates here in Tulsa.The city charter is basically the wishes of the citizens on how they want their town ran.This being the case,i support our own hometown candidates.I believe that in the next city council and mayor's race this should be brought out.Are our elected officials going to listen to the citizens and follow their wishes or what?I would support the idea that all our elected officials will sign a contract making them stand by their campaign promises.If they break that contract it would be grounds for immediate resignation or re-call.It is time for the broken promises and lies to stop.We want our own citizens promoted within our system,besides,who would know our problems better?Who better to know what has been tried and didnt work? It is time for carpetbaggers to pack their bags and leave.

Small Biz Guy said:

Here's my thoughts: the new order is the same as the old world order - wealthy elitists dictating to a complacent serfdom which dance to the tune when, where, and however being played.

This "new world order" is frought with corruption and self-serving political leaders who have mastered the art of "listening" to the public - at least that's how we are supposed to feel when we are asked for our input. But the joke is on the citizenry when it discovers that the politicians were only pretending to listen while implementing another agenda.

So, why should Mayor Failure have to answer to us, the constituents? We are despised with haughty eyes that bemoan the very notion that there should be any accountability for empty words, empty promises, and empty suits. Oh, and empty wallets. It's okay if I waste the public treasury. Isn't that what it's there for?

sbtulsa said:

slaw wrote:
The mayor isn't working solo and making these decisions without support - she is accountable for the Tulsa budget and monies. Why can't you be planning to meet with this new man and offering your help and support so that anything he tries to accomplish and better the city will work instead of already fighting against him. Don't you tire of yourself?

The mayor used an outside consultant to help with this process. that's $100,000 out of a tight city budget. i'm all for someone admitting they need advice, but the advice should come from tulsans who have experience and a vested interest in this city, not a theoretical model of what a police department outght "look like".

i should meet with an interim guy whose only going to give us three months of his time? why? in fact, Bostrom should meet with the cops on the streets and develope a plan from that input.

Speaking out in public is not "fighting against him". Expressing ideas is not "fighting against him", any more than your response to my post is "fighting against" me. you might ponder the fact that tradition that allows you to post on this forum is a two way street.

So far the Mayor and our city council have wasted about 600 thousand on survey's not needed.1 looking for police chief,100,000.00.2 400,000.00 for seeing why minority classes are not getting job's.(illegal aliens?) hmmm. 3 Staubach firm to find out where our city hall would best be situated and a few more items of their interest.How many police officer's could all this wasted money have hired?Once we hire more officer's the overtime can be reduced allowing that money to hire more officer's thus cutting the overtime again and so on and so on.I believe we as citizens must require our elected official's to put into a contract with the voters their platform they are running for office on and if they violate that contract they must resign or be re-called.This will seperate the promises and lie's from their real intentions.Are you sick of the lie's and broken promises,i surely am.

Michelle said:

Dear Tulsa Friends,

I think "slaw" is my fault. So sorry. She is the aunt of one of my best friends, and she would be the president of the "I hate Michelle" fan club if it existed. If I told you her last name you would know why she picked the name "slaw" for her name on here. She is from Tulsa and her family lives here, but she lives in Oregon. I will not embarass them by saying who they are. She is a rabid liberal and enjoys getting on blogs and attacking conservatives for their convictions and beliefs. She doesn't think anyone has a right to their own opinions on their own blogs. That post about "Oregon going to Hell" is here: http://www.mshellb.com/?p=292 and it's about a bill in consideration in Oregon that "will require public schools to teach that homosexual/lesbian/bisexual behavior is ‘okay’ and ‘moral’". Does anyone actually think I meant that everyone in the entire state is going to go to Hell? No, rational thinking people would understand what I meant. But not her. You can see some of her comments (and some of my favorite responses I have ever written) to me here: http://www.mshellb.com/?p=275#comments She is "Suecue". They are nice compared to the emails I received.

"Slaw", you know absolutely nothing of what you speak/write here, which is pretty typical for you. Michael Bates LOVES this city and is actively involved in helping it get better. Our city's crime rate is getting worse and worse and the city has little money to fix it, so we are all frustrated with this process. Most everyone commenting on here worked to defeat Kathy Taylor, by the way.

If you want people who agree with you, go visit the DailyKos.

One thing i believe is a waste of time and effort are these debates during campaign season.These debates have questions asked by citizens and are given to candidates normally 3 weeks before the debate.This allows people running for office to send people out to get the answers citizens want to hear,not what they really believe.Guess what? This is where the lie's and broken promises begin.Do the people really want to know the truth?I believe that the citizens really do want people to do the job that they volunteered to do as servants of the people.Until the advanced questions and debates stop we will continue to be deceived.Isay,NO DEBATES.Town Hall meetings where campaigners have to answer questions right off the cuff.If people want the true beliefs and platform of any one running for office this will be the best way to the truth.If someone doesn't have an answer and they say so at least it would be an honest one.Remember,No one really knows what they will do in most situations until that problem comes up.They must consider each issue one at a time.If they are really smart they will call on those that have knowledge to help.Get rid of the idea that they are above asking for help and understand that is part of being a human being.We all need help.That is why God has given us each other.We all need help one time or another.Remember,no one is above or better than God so act like you are not God,all knowing,all seeing.God Bless,Amen

second amendment said:

The old saying "blood is thicker than water"...pretty much the same holds true for anything. If a public figure is FROM the place they are representing, they tend to have more attachment and loyalty to the people. Having a Mayor and Interim police chief who are not from the area is just dumb and they are very likely motivated by some other issue rather than representing local constituents. A Mommy bear who has not bonded with her cubs abandon them.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 18, 2007 10:48 AM.

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