Budget to reflect changes for Lawton police
As department heads and city officials are bracing for budget season, the Lawton Police Department is hopeful that even more changes will be coming.
Lawton City Manager Bryan Long last week released a more detailed timeline for implementing recommendations outlined in February by the Fidelis Group LLC following a probe into low morale and management practices at the department. While some plans for reform depend on other variables like budgets and the formation of a departmentwide leadership team a few plans for improvement expansion of the training academy and efforts to protect the integrity of the department through leadership changes are being endorsed by both Long and Lawton Police Chief James Smith.
Mayor Pro Tem Doug Wells and Long previously announced a new policy governing the promotion process which Fidelis found had been plagued by perceptions of bias would take effect May 1, and at that time city officials also said the Fidelis-recommended leadership team is expected to be in place by June 2.
Other possible changes and efforts to conform with Fidelis' recommendations in Long's release were bulleted in the documents released last week.
Long said the city may move to redefine the sergeant position at the police department (during the investigation it was noted that officers believed the recent blanket failures of sergeant candidates during testing was an effort to save the city money, prompting Fidelis to recommend the rank be treated as it is in other jurisdictions).