The Norman Police Department strives to maintain and enhance the quality of life in the City of Norman by protecting life, liberty, property, and keeping the peace. Currently authorized to maintain 171 commissioned officers and 71 civilian employees, NPD has been serving the residents of Norman since 1919. Located just 20 miles south of Oklahoma City on Interstate 35, Norman is the third largest city in Oklahoma with a population just over 120,000 people and is home to the University of Oklahoma. NPD is responsible for protecting and responding to calls that span the city's 197 square miles which include a mixture of dense urban and growing rural areas.
NPD has a main headquarter building in central Norman, as well as an Investigations Center and Training Center. NPD focuses on initiatives to maintain a safe community and create positive partnerships that allow residents to work with us to problem solve and prevent crime. Each member of the police department is continuously challenged to maintain high levels of professionalism and integrity towards all we serve.
In addition to our uniformed officers who serve within patrol, NPD also includes an investigations, community outreach, traffic enforcement, parking services, animal welfare, and numerous specialized teams and units. The department also operates the City of Norman's Communications Center.
The Norman Police Department is a Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police accredited law enforcement agency.
Mission, Vision and Values
Mission: To maintain and enhance the quality of life in the City of Norman by protecting life, liberty, property, and keeping the peace.
Vision: Serving the safest city in America through the application of our values, community leadership, innovation and problem solving.
Values: In pursuit of our mission, Norman Police Department employees value:
Integrity - By conducting ourselves ethically
Accountability - By accepting responsibility for our work and actions
Mutual Respect - By recognizing individual rights and human dignity
Service Attitude - By providing exceptional service in a courteous, dependable and efficient manner.
Partnerships - By working with the community to create permanent solutions to problems.
Chief of Police
Kevin Foster was sworn-in as the City of Norman's Chief of Police on November 1, 2019. Chief Foster oversees 180 commissioned officers and 71 civilian employees. A native Oklahoman, Chief Foster is a graduate of Northwestern Oklahoma State University and hold a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice Management and Administration from the University of Central Oklahoma. In March of 2013, Chief Foster graduated from the FBI National Academy, FBINA #252. He is also a graduate of the International Association of Chiefs of Police Leadership in Police Organization.
Chief Foster began his career with the Norman Police Department in September 1989. For more than 30 years, Chief Foster has served in many areas of the police department including the Operations Bureau, Support Bureau, Staff Services Bureau, Patrol, Criminal Investigations, and Professional Standards. Chief Foster has more than 19 years of executive command and supervisory experience.
Chief Foster is a board member for Meals on Wheels of Norman, Police Executive Research Forum, Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police, Boy Scouts of America, Norman Rotary and the National Tactical Officers Association.
Chief Foster maintains a personal commitment to enhance the quality of life for the residents of the communities NPD serves.
In his spare time, Chief Foster enjoys attending OU sporting events, scouting with his son, playing golf, and spending time with his wife and son.
The Norman Police Department was formed in 1919 when the City of Norman was chartered. Prior to this the law enforcement duties for the community had fallen upon Deputy U.S. Marshals, then a city marshal. The new police department shared office space with the fire department in a small building in the 100 Block of North Peters Avenue.
In 1924, the department consisted of four officers. By 1936, the staff had increased to eight officers. These officers worked twelve hour shifts, seven days a week, for $110.00 per month. In 1938, four more officers were hired, with the shifts going to eight hour shifts, six days a week. By the mid 1930s, the department had one car which was operated twenty-four hours a day. There were also three officers who walked a foot beat in the downtown area on a twenty-four hour a day basis.
In the summer of 1942, the United States Navy established a Naval Flight Training Center (which soon became Naval Air Station Norman) and a Naval Air Technical Training Center at two locations in Norman. During the war years and until the bases deactivation, the Norman Police worked closely with the Naval Shore Patrol.
Since the war years, the Norman Police Department has continued to grow and improve operations. The Police Department has moved twice, ending up at our current location in 1982.
In 1993, the Norman Police Department began the process of adopting Community Oriented Policing as the approach to solving problems in our community. The City was divided into thirteen police beats with officers being assigned to the beats on a more permanent basis. The Community Oriented Policing philosophy centers around building partnerships between the police department and the citizens and merchants in the community. Working together solutions to problems are discovered and resolutions are attained through cooperation.
In 2019, the Norman Police Department celebrated its Centennial. Today, the department boasts 180 commissioned officers and 71 civilians. With three bureaus, the department continues to evolve to meet the changing needs and innovation of the growing community.
Citizens Advisory Board
To further its focus of transparency and community partnerships, the Norman Police Department maintains the Norman Citizens Advisory Board (NCAB). Representative of the Norman community, the diverse board serves in an advisory capacity to the Chief of Police regarding issues relevant to police-community relations and outreach to the community.
The overall focus of NCAB is to review various department investigations and enhance community trust, as citizen participation and interaction with the police are fundamental to achieving comprehensive law enforcement.
The NCAB’s composition is representative of residents from all members of the city. Members of NCAB will be comprised of a cross-section of residents and inclusive of differences in race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and disability. All residents have the opportunity to apply to become board members. All ethnic and cultural organizations are encouraged to submit candidates for open positions on the NCAB. Applications will open annually.
Current members of the Norman Citizens Advisory Board (NCAB)
The Norman Police Department is an active participant in the Benchmark City Survey. Originally designed in 1997 by a core group of police chiefs from around the country, the survey provides a measurement tool to help departments ensure they are providing the best service possible within their respective community.
The survey, updated annually, provides a wide range of information about each department. With that information, the participating agencies can set better goals and objectives, and compare their performance in the various areas.
2019 Benchmark City Results
NPD Policy Manual
The Norman Police Department aims to uphold a high level of transparency and accountability within the Norman community. A PDF version of the Norman Police Department Policy Manual is available below. Leading with vision, guidance and example, the Norman Police Department works to maintain a culture founded on these policies and articulated in this manual.
Partnership for Evaluating Police - Collaborative Initiative with the OU Knee Institute
The Norman Police Department and Ruth Knee Institute for Transformative Scholarship in the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work at the University of Oklahoma announce a collaborative initiative, Partnership for Evaluating Police. This unique data-sharing and decision-making collaboration is among the first of its kind in the United States.
The strategic partnership brings together the police department with social work scholars to provide not only external, unbiased evaluation of police-related community contact data, but also to develop a consultation mechanism to learn more about how to adjust policies and procedures to better serve the needs of the Norman community.
The Ruth Knee Institute and OU School of Social Work will serve in an advisory capacity to NPD as an external evaluation partner to access data relating to policing activities to identify how this data could connect socio-cultural realties of the community, and to provide recommendations on how to address the complex realities of policing today.
The first project will focus on assessing the impacts of NPD’s traffic enforcement on marginalized community members. Subsequent projects will focus on evaluation of the School Resource Officer program and mental health-related contacts.
Focused on furthering the mission and values of the police department, specifically related to human dignity, transparency, responsibility, and community partnerships, this partnership aims to create long-term solutions.
Additional information on the Partnership for Evaluating Police initiative will be released upon the launch of assessment efforts in 2021.