Leah Mueller wants you to know that if you have a question or concern, the Tulsa Police Department hears you and wants to help.
Mueller, a former television news producer in Tulsa, is the department’s first community liaison, according to a news release issued Tuesday. She will earn an annual salary of $45,000 to work with the community, bolstering awareness and education of the department’s community policing initiatives.
Mueller, 35, was on hand Tuesday evening in a Cherry Street parking lot for a meet-and-greet during Tulsa Night Out, when city police and fire department personnel attend neighborhood gatherings to touch base with the community.
Mueller said the police department needs to better leverage social media to openly communicate with citizens — a key focus for her.
“It has become such a major everyday communication tool,” Mueller said. “I really want to be the voice of Tulsa Police, that if people send a message they know they’re going to get an answer.”
Mueller said one of her best assets is being a “people person.” She said she has never met someone she couldn’t talk to for at least a few minutes on any topic — whether positive or contentious. Mueller said she has a talent for being able to relate to people and understand what they may be going through.
Mueller was a television news producer for nearly a decade at KTUL and KJRH. Most recently she was a marketing coordinator for Flintco LLC, a Tulsa-based construction company.
“I got out of TV and that world for almost two years, and I really miss being an active part of the community,” Mueller said. “Knowing what’s going on, being able to feel like I go to bed at night making a difference in the place that I live.”
Mueller’s position comes at an opportune time for the police department.
About two-thirds of the recommendations from Mayor G.T. Bynum’s Tulsa Commission on Community Policing have yet to be fully implemented.
“Leah will work hand-in-hand with community groups and citizens to bring awareness and education of the many programs, plans and research projects implemented by the department,” Police Chief Chuck Jordan said in a statement. “Leah has over 10 years experience in the Tulsa media market and will develop an avenue for citizens to directly interact with TPD regarding the issues important to the community.”
The mayor’s commission produced 77 recommendations for the department to improve community policing. About one-third already have been implemented, and two-thirds are in some stage of becoming part of police operations.
Overall, the recommendations address several categories: building trust and legitimacy; policy and oversight; technology and social media; community policing and crime reduction; training and education; and officer wellness and safety.
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