The Oak Ridge City Council will hear the results of the six-month review of the Oak Ridge Police Department during a special meeting on Thursday, October 15.
The special work session—work sessions are non-voting meetings—will feature a presentation by the Municipal Technical Advisory Service at the University of Tennessee, which was hired to conduct the review in March. The review was expected to focus on turnover, morale, and administrative policies.
The work session, which was called by Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch and City Manager Mark Watson, is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the Municipal Building Courtroom at 200 South Tulane Avenue.
MTAS will present the conclusions of its review of the Oak Ridge Police Department. Also, MTAS will submit their final report of the review to the City Council.
In April, MTAS was expected to interview up to an estimated 112 employees: 76 current employees and 36 former workers.
Those interviews have apparently been going on quietly behind the scenes. City officials have said they have no idea what the review might say.
The process that led to the review, which was proposed by City Council member Kelly Callison and approved during a special meeting in March, started in late January, when Council member Trina Baughn raised questions about what she suggested is a high turnover rate in the ORPD. Baughn, who had called for an investigation on several issues, also cited concerns expressed by a former officer in a personnel grievance, by a few writers using pseudonyms in anonymous emails, and by former officers and former Oak Ridge Police Chief David Beams in letters to the media and City Council, among other issues.
A divisive debate ensued, one of the most contentious in a long time, with critics saying Baughn is engaged in a “witch hunt” and supporters saying she is holding people accountable.
It’s not clear what might happen next, after Council receives the MTAS review.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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