Recently, an OKC mother in NE Oklahoma County, Ward 7 was called to her children’s school because the children’s father, had presented unannounced to pick up the kids.
The mother was listed with the school as the primary custodial parent. Judicial orders stated any permitted contact with the father began at 7 PM. The mother considered the call to come to the school unusual. She went to the children’s school and was met by the father, school office staff and local police. She later learned the responding White female Officer Bennet, was new to the job. All others present were African American.
The mother noted to the present adults that the father openly admitted he had a DUI conviction. The father agreed he was ordered to drive with an Interlock breathalizer device, but never did. The mother ask that the father not leave with the daughters given this question and no court order stating the father could have the girls at that afternoon hour.
From this point, OKCPD Officer Bennet did not address the absence of the Interlock. Should the girls be allowed to get in the car with the father, if he had no visible compliance with the orders of the DUI conviction? Here are two points of backstory on this OKC DUI violator case.
So the Spring Lake Division OKCPD responding officer could :
- Check the father’s car for any Interlock device, determine if it exists, and is functional. Check registration of same with DPS.
- ALCO Strip test the father
- Breathalize the father
- Do a field sobriety test
- Apply Kay Floyd’s lethality questionnaire
- Contact OKCPD Supervisor, request onsite review of the situation at hand.
- Call OKDHS to the school. Make a CPS report about neglect, risk and exposure to criminal activity.
- Call a Victim’s Advocate; the attached handout shows an exceptional reply to Ohio services. (know OKC doesn’t have this yet. Services being considered would be under the OKCPD instead of an independent provider free of any influence of politics or religion).
- Ask for a response from a CIRT or CIT staff member. CIRT is critical incident response and CIT is crisis intervention team. Both have specialized training in responding to highly emotional situations, mental health or addictions.
- Return any omni-directional report to a repository, a cross roads of any of these groups involved in issues which have high risk, but no critical pathway to resolve.
This day, none of these services were applied. The 10 year old daughters themselves asked Officer Bennet personally to check the vehicle before they got in, and she did not. She did tell the girls to get in the car and comply with the visit. Whose job is it to provide a structured reply that respects timely access to public health and safety standards with what was known?
A few months prior to this scenario, the father in this DUI violator circumstance did begin a child custody suit, which bypassed issues of 45k of unpaid child support over 9 years, as well as this undocumented and untended issue of the DUI.
Which problem was the baseline “issue” in this Friday afternoon school pick up? What needed to be prioritized? Is it a Department of Public Safety issue, as they control driver compliance in DUI? Or is it a Child Protective Services issue of neglect or risk? Is there any reason all things presenting cannot be allowed attentions for ready access to public health and safety? There isn’t one point of report and response. Should there be?Is this simply part of one of these cases of outrageous child custody, which often begin with failed reports on child abuse or prior undealt with or known problems?
Few Oklahoman’s understand that this federal law, states solely control the policy, custom and law over child protective services in each state. Child protections do have some obligation to the federal division of child protective services. This is called Health and Human Services Administration to Children and Families (ACF) but who decides what those are?
Failures in local child protective services systems response may be noted to ACF regional managers, or the ACF Policy Director. It appears that this Ward 7 circumstance was not reported to the OKDHS by law enforcement or the school.
The platinum HHS/ACF chosen standard in child abuse reply falls under two things. One is this federal act. The other recognizes child abuse as an aspect of domestic violence, and the HHS/ACF uses educator, author and advocate, DV attorney Barry Goldstein as their top resource.
There are no copies of Goldstein’s work in it’s law libraries nor any public libraries in the greater Oklahoma City area. It is well known that Goldstein used the Oklahoma County Civil Court abuse case of Terry Framel as an example of what not to do in reporting and court actions in at least one volume of his work.
The Las Vegas Tribune, an independent news source in Nevada dedicates time to these cases gone awry, here’s simplification of what they have noted. Defrauding custody has three parts:
- First, reports of abuse, risk, or harm are misdocumented at the point of report by the receiving agency. So the first provided report is not documented in it’s entirety by law enforcement or cps investigators.
- This mishandling damages evidence permanently, is never audited. Error begets error in records about the situation. Such errors can result in improper care plans, wrong placements, misapplication of medical services or witholding of needed care.
- Judges writes orders based upon inaccurate files given to them by involved staff at said agencies. These orders then the child in avoidable known or suspected circumstances of harm, risk or death.
The now famous complaint of rape of 13 African American women by Daniel Holtzclaw, an Asian/White OKCPD Springlake Division Officer also happened in Ward 7 in 2014. The first survivors experienced problems filing meaningful police reports which omitted important details or lessened the issue by wrong categorization in police logs. This caused a gap in service for timely, effective, meaningful response. These rape case responses have also not been dealt with by auditing as sentinel event.
Currently, there appears to be no accurate report of this DUI violator situation over OKCPD or even OKDHS CPS. So far, there isn’t any evidence of that being resolved. Officer Bennet’s work has been reviewed by a Lieutenant Rodgers who is African American and has progressed to Captain Boxwell who is White. Ward 7 is a historically Black enclave in Oklahoma City.