Tulsa Police Reserve Says Volunteering Is Way To Give Back
Lawmakers across Oklahoma are reviewing reserve officer programs after a reserve Tulsa County reserve deputy shot and killed a man during a sting operation.
Two weeks ago, Tulsa city councilors asked police to clarify what its reserve officers can and cannot do while out on patrol.
A News On 6 reporter went for a ride along with one volunteer reserve police officer who's been serving the community for 25 years.
At 21st and Garnett, three cars crashed and Tulsa Police Reserve Officer Joe Hidy answered the call. Hidy is one of seven reserves who was on duty Saturday afternoon for TPD.
“It's a way to give back to the community,” Hidy said. “What I find it's a way to help people."
Tulsa's reserve program has 55 officers who work full-time jobs when they're not wearing a badge and gun. They say their training is almost double the state's minimum requirement for reserves to go out and patrol.
Supervisors for the reserve program say they try to mirror the training of their full-time counterparts. The reserves contributed over 16,000 hours of volunteer time last year working special events and patrols, according to TPD.
The department says Hidy has the qualifications to be out patrolling in east Tulsa.
“What we try to do is take some of the calls that aren't priority 1, 2 and 3 calls that [regular officers] have to go on, which leaves them freed up to respond faster to priority 1, 2 and 3 calls," Hidy said.
Most people don't recognize the difference between reserve and full-time officers.
The biggest difference is the patch.
When the weekend ends, Hidy will go back to work as a banker, but he will be ready to return to serve his community and fellow officers.