Reserve Deputy Requirements To Change
TULSA, Oklahoma - A new law goes into effect in a week that's changing the requirements for reserve deputies to become full-time law enforcement officers.
This comes as the controversial case of former reserve deputy Bob Bates is still fresh on the minds of a lot of people.
Last week, Bates walked out of prison after shooting and killing an unarmed man.
Right now, reserve deputies spend two years in training.
After that case went viral, the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office pulled the plug on its reserve deputy program.
Now, with a new Sheriff at the helm, it's up and running again and ready for the change.
Once the new law goes into effect, reserve deputies will only have to spend six months in training instead of two years before they can apply to be full time.
Some say that's not enough training time, but the Tulsa sheriff's office says its deputies will still be held to strict standards.
"When they do make that application to become a full-time reserve officer or deputy, they will go back through another ten-week bridge academy which will bridge the gap in the training they did not receive that a full-time deputy did receive,” explained deputy Justin Green. “That will bring them up to the standard of a full-time officer."
He also says it's not common for reserve deputies to become full-time deputies since most keep their full-time jobs and do this to serve the community.
But for other agencies dealing with shortages, this new law will help the numbers.
Most Tulsa County reserve deputies work in the courthouse, jail, help on patrol or with community policing.