Tulsa Police Graduates 'Diverse' Class Of New Officers
TULSA, Oklahoma - Twenty new Tulsa police officers are ready to hit the streets.
Those officers and two fire marshals graduated from the academy today.
Tulsa Police Department says this is one of the most diverse classes they've had.
Every one of them received their badges this afternoon.
And with it they swore an oath to protect and serve, with their lives, if need be.
"I love this place. I decided to stay here and so I'll start my career here," said Jarvis Allen.
For 28 weeks, the officers went though grueling training.
They were even pepper sprayed and had tasers deployed on them, but they pushed through it.
And to be a Tulsa office you have to be able to push through.
"I've never been tested the way I was tested," said Janee Williams.
The roster for this 109th TPD class is more diverse than those before.
Over the last year and a half the African American community has been calling for a more diverse force, particularly following the shooting deaths of Terence Crutcher and Joshua Barre.
"Just to be a role model in the community," Allen said.
That call was answered by officer Allen, Williams and Stephen Daniels.
"I think it's just the job. I watched it on the news and I saw it and said I want to be out there, I want to help the community, I want to be out there paying it forward," Williams said.
While some hope these officers get stationed on the north side, that's not guaranteed.
They'll spend 16 weeks riding along with field training officers.
Then, like all officers, they'll go through a bid system to see what part of town and what shift they'll get.
"I'm taking it day by day. In my training I get to work in all divisions. And once i get to work in all divisions I'll get a feel of that and find out where I want to be," Williams said.
This class was a mixture of Hispanic people and women as well, and TPD says the next one will be an even more diverse group.