Community support is the critical key to filling needs that fall outside the budget for the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.
Those needs led to the formation of the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Foundation Inc. chaired by Tim Harris, former Tulsa County district attorney. The initial goal of $300,000 is to be raised quickly for body cameras for patrol deputies and to establish a citizens advisory board.
“This will be a transparent arm to the sheriff’s department,” Harris said. “All funds will go through the trustees, and all requests and projects will be vetted prior to approval.”
State, county and municipal funds are inadequate, and there is a need to go to the community for additional support. The goal is to remove any favoritism or patronage the community might feel in supporting Tulsa County’s law enforcement.
Sheriff Vic Regalado said the foundation’s efforts are not a “quick fix” because those didn’t work in the past and won’t be effective in the future. The Citizens Engagement Advisory Board will provide input to the department about policies procedures and best practices.
Part of the money — $100,000 — will be used for the board’s director and training for volunteer board members.
This is a three-year project and is very complex, Harris said. Many technical details involving body cameras are being reviewed.
Jon M. McGrath, board trustee, said the foundation will provide an avenue for the community to help the department.
It will be a way to help provide matching funds when federal dollars are involved, he said. Most have a 70 federal-30 local requirement. At the end of the day, it is a way for the community to be fully involved.
Foundation board members include Harris, chairman; McGrath, a railroad contractor and president of McGrath LLC in Tulsa; Rebecca Marks-Jimerson, a supporter of diversity and equality through administrative roles at higher-education institutions and community organizations; Bob Jack, Manhattan Construction retired senior vice president; and Frazier Henke, American Bank and Trust Co, Tulsa, president and CEO.
Residents can learn more about the foundation and its efforts at tulsacsf.org.
Adam Daigle 918-581-8480
Follow Adam Daigle on Twitter at @adamdaigleTW