Tulsa’s former police chief tells the city’s World that he accepts some of the responsibility for the “culture” that gave birth to a growing narcotics scandal in the police department. Police there are reviewing guidelines for undercover operations in the wake of a grand jury probe over the handling of seized drug money and other issues. A former officer has pleaded guilty to stealing money as part of an FBI sting. Federal indictments also claim that undercover police officers falsified search warrants and used nonexistent informants to frame drug suspects.
In his first comments about the scandal, former Chief Ron Palmer said he was shocked by the allegations. Palmer resigned as chief Jan. 22. His resignation was not related to the grand jury investigation. Palmer says he accepts some of the criticism for a police culture that allowed certain officers to commit illegal acts. “I don’t feel responsible for the actions of the officers who have admittedly broken the law, but I do feel responsible, in part, for the culture that developed and allowed this to occur,” he said.