Chief Wendell Franklin Ready to Lead Tulsa’s Police Department into the Future

City of Tulsa
TULSA LEADERSHIP: Chief Wendell Franklin, left, Mayor G.T. Bynum, and Chief Chuck Jordan attend the Mayor’s announcement on Jan. 22, 2020, of Wendell Franklin as he is named Tulsa’s 40th Police Chief.

He is tough, but he is fair – those are the words many in the Tulsa Police Department have used to describe Tulsa’s new police chief, Wendell Franklin. One of the most challenging and important decisions I’ve made in my time as mayor was hiring him, but I truly believe he is the best person for the job.
Following the announcement of Chief Chuck Jordan’s retirement, I needed to name TPD’s new police chief, a process that would define the future of the department.
To keep the hiring process transparent, the Crime Prevention Network and I held three town halls and a public forum to see what the public would like to see in Tulsa’s next police chief. This had never been done before in the chief selection process. We had 600 people attend those meetings and I talked directly with more than 160 people. The comments from the community and input from councilors certainly played a role in deciding the qualities of the person who I wanted to lead TPD for years to come.
Those qualities shined through with Wendell Franklin, ultimately leading to my decision to hire him.
Chief Franklin represents everything I want to see in a police chief. He has an incredible knack for building successful teams, he is passionate about technology and innovation, and he is a selfless leader.
A product of this city, Chief Franklin grew up in north Tulsa. Losing his mother at an early age and having to overcome a speech impediment helped shape him into the kind of person he is. Today, his vision is clear and he knows well the realities of community policing. Those who have been under his command have either elevated their game or have moved on to other assignments. Since his hiring 23 years ago, Chief Franklin has gained respect and admiration among those in the department because of his high moral character.
It’s with Chief Franklin that we will build on the successes we’ve seen with community policing, implicit bias training, and more. Under his guidance, we will continue to make Tulsa a stronger, safer and more inclusive place to live, thrive and grow our families.
If the hiring process taught me one thing, it was that we have tremendous talent in TPD. The other six candidates made me proud to know their policing efforts are bettering the level of service our citizens receive every day. I’m incredibly thankful to what Chief Chuck Jordan gave this city and for his handling of the department for the last 10 years.
It’s with confidence that I believe Chief Franklin will continue to build the kind of policing for Tulsa that we all want and need.