The Tulsa Police Department needs to hire nearly 200 officers in the next few years just to keep up with the city’s growth. So now they're actively trying to recruit officers to join the force.
Right now, the Tulsa Police Department has 52 more officers than they had this time last year, but they still need a lot more to get to where they need to be. So, they are working to find people who have what it takes to be a Tulsa Police Officer.
"I've seen other departments and they don’t carry themselves that well but Tulsa’s officers are top notch," said TPD Cadet Aaron Myers.
Myers is getting ready to hit the streets as a Tulsa Police Officer. Before joining TPD, Myers worked as a teacher at Carver Middle School.
"I had been there for 10 years and I really wanted to follow my dream," said Myers.
Myers is more than halfway through the 11-month training. Tulsa's Academy includes several gun range sessions, classroom work and extensive training on the road. Each officer has to go through between 80-90 hours of drivers training in order to pass the drivers portion of the academy.
“You just never know as a police officer what you’re going to end up on,” said TPD Cpl. Dan Ward.
Corporal Ward works with a lot of cadets on the driving portion of the academy and says this class is smaller than most.
“Our goal would be to have three 30-person academies a year and this academy has 17 people in it,” said Cpl. Ward.
In 2015, A University of Cincinnati study analyzed TPD's staffing levels and crime trends and found that Tulsa needs to have at least 950 officers to meet the city’s needs. As of this month, TPD had 789 officers and is actively looking to hire more.
“We’re hoping for the next academy class to be fully staffed but we’ve gotta have the qualified applicants in order to do that,” said Cpl. Ward.
Applicants must have a four-year degree and pass a background check.
“Anybody who wants to make a difference, give Tulsa police a call,” said Cpl. Ward.
Tulsa Police Department is recruiting for their May academy so if you would like to join, you can apply at JoinTPD.org