City: Progress being made at LPD - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

City: Progress being made at LPD

LAWTON, Okla._ City officials say it has taken longer than originally anticipated to put new policies in place within the Lawton Police Department.

The city council voted in February to accept the recommendations given by the Fidelis Group, following their investigation of complaints from within the department. Many of those recommendations, however, have yet to turn into policy.

Councilman Doug Wells is the chairman of the four-member council committee overseeing the implementation of the new policies. Wells says the city will be working to implement all the changes one-by-one over the next four months.  

"Would we like it faster? Absolutely, but there are some things you have to take your time and do it right,” says Wells.

The City of Lawton has paid the Fidelis Group $28,360 to investigate problems in the department and compile a report outlining known issues. Two months later, the city admits little has been put into effect.

Wells says they city is starting with an overhaul to the promotions process in an effort to eliminate any bias that might exist.

"Whether it actually exists or if it's just perceived, it will destroy an organization,” says Wells.

The new promotions policy will take effect May 1. On June 1, they hope to establish a Leadership Team, which will be comprised of police administrators, uniformed officers, 911 dispatchers and jail personnel to help solve issues internally as a team.

"I think [the report] will show to be worth every penny, but until we implement this and see the overall affect on the police department we obviously don't know that,” says Wells.

A list of the new policies and a specific date of when they are expected to be implemented is set to be released by the city manager's office soon. As for the change in promotions, the city will create a panel of officers from other police departments in the state to help put all eligible candidates on a level playing field. 
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