Statement from NPD Chief Kevin Foster

Disparities exist in police department data across the country, and our department is no different. I want to ensure all of our citizens that the Norman Police Department is working hard every day to keep our community a safe and enjoyable place for all people to live.

Since 2016, we have released our departmental data through our Open Data Portal. Transparency is and will remain a priority for the Norman Police Department. To that end, we are currently working with partners at the University of Oklahoma and the Center for Policing Equity to evaluate these disparities and identify what steps we can take to improve services.

This country has a long history that has led to many different outcomes, and we understand that.  However, to jump from the belief that some disparities within the profession means all law enforcement must be racist and should be abolished is wrong. We have some of the best officers in the country working here in Norman and they do not deserve to be villainized and treated in that manner.  

Due to the current situation, I am truly concerned about our ability to continue to recruit a diverse group of top-tier applicants to the Norman Police Department.  I am just as concerned that many of the great officers we currently have may leave for other locations where their jobs will be more secure and they have more opportunities to succeed. I am truly sorry that it has come to me having to send a statement like this, but I cannot stand idly by and watch this happen. As always, I am happy to discuss these issues with anyone. I love this community and thank you all for allowing me to be the Chief of Police here.