Police Chief Finally Settles It: Police Were Targeted, & City Defunded 9 Police Officer Positions

BOMBSHELL VIDEO: After weeks of back and forth, Norman Police Chief finally settles it: Police were not only defunded, they were targeted Chief also speaks of dangers to response times, low morale Norman — After weeks of the mayor and city council suggesting that they did not, in fact, defund the police, the final verdict is in. In an interview with FOP President Robert Wasoski last night, Norman’s police chief Kevin Foster finally admitted what the people of Norman already knew: the city council and mayor defunded the police. In a wide-ranging interview discussing the police budget and public safety matters in the city, Chief Foster admitted definitively for the first time since the June 17th vote that the police were targeted. In the attached video, the Police Chief states: (time codes provided): Were the Police Defunded?  - “It flat out took away 9 officers from our staffing” – Police Chief, on the mayor’s and city council’s vote (5:13) - “It’s about public safety, and we’ve lost 9 positions.” (8:01) - “We were cut 9 positions” (1:35) - “We went from 180 authorized, down to 171 authorized” (1:40) - “It’s hurting our effort on community policing” – Police Chief, on the initial promise that this was about “community policing” — he says a lack of officers actually hurts community policing (2:15) Were Police Targeted? The police chief says he believes that the cuts were punitive and targeted the police department: -           “As far as public safety goes, fire was not cut, and nobody else in this was cut, it was specifically, the police department“ (11:00) As for response times? - “Other places…even around us… sometimes those people have to wait 7-8 hours, or even till the next day to make a burglary report, or even online” – Police Chief, on how emergency and non-emergency calls could be impacted in Norman, as they are in other cities. (2:35) - “Our response times to those will grow” – Police Chief, on whether public safety calls will suffer. (2:27) As for the Unite Norman effort to hold the city accountable? When asked about what he thinks of Unite Norman’s drive to hold the mayor and city council accountable for defunding the police, the police chief said: - “I very much appreciate it” (15:45) - “I’m glad that somebody’s out there to fight for us” (15:47) - “I appreciate that somebody’s concerned about it” (15:49) - “It’s appreciated by me as the Chief” (16:45) - “I’d like to see that supported” (16:05) As for the current morale, and the future of the Norman Police Department? The Chief acknowledged he’d like his department to be whole. - “Morale’s got to be down.... they’re not seeing any light at the end of the tunnel for any help” (18:04) “Finally, the people of Norman can hear Norman police chief in his own words admitting that the mayor and the city council did, in fact, defund the police, cut the police budget, and cut police officer positions,” said Russell Smith, co-founder of Unite Norman. The full approximately :20 minute video is attached for your reference and reporting: https://www.dropbox.com/s/u7aqexcvkfeuxhh/Russ%20Smith%20-%20Norman%20FOP%20and%20Chief%20Talk%20Budget.mp4?dl=0

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