Manager draws council criticism
Three city councilmen berated City Manager Bryan Long Tuesday, saying Long changed the implementation date of a police-related administrative policy without notifying them.
The three are members of a four-person City Council subcommittee appointed to oversee implementation of recommendations made by Fidelis Group, an Oklahoma City-based firm that conducted a council-mandated investigation of the Lawton Police Department in the wake of numerous complaints by police officers and their families and the public. Council members publicly accepted the report's findings in February and directed Long to implement the recommendations made in the report.
Council members said then that their role in the investigation was completed by their directive to Long, but also said the subcommittee that had been meeting with Fidelis would remain active and monitor implementation of the recommendations.
In April, city administrators and Ward 8 Councilman Doug Wells, chair of the council subcommittee, outlined a timeline for those implementations, including the one that drew fire Tuesday: police promotions.
Ward 2 Councilman Keith Jackson said while that new promotion policy was to be implemented May 1, he was told by police union members that the date would be allowed to slide.
"You waived the policy that the council directed," Jackson told Long from the council floor, adding that the decision allowed the city to slide "back to that good ol' boy network" by promoting officers under the policy that the Fidelis report had sought to change to make it appear less biased.