Semi-automatic rifles, pepperball pistols, and thermal imaging cameras are a few of the major upgrades for the Sand Springs Police Department.
It’s all part of the department’s new policing plan that’s aimed at improving trust and keeping officers and the public safe.
Captain Todd Enzbrenner says, “when police officers leave their car, all they have is what they have with them.”
Sand Springs police will now have new go bags stocked with an emergency trauma kit.
They will be ready to use “if it’s a serious event, a mass casualty event, or a bad car wreck,” Enzbrenner said.
The department is also upgrading the tasers its officers carry because the current models of tasers only have a 50 percent deploy rate.
“Just like any other tool, they’re not foolproof,” said Enzbrenner.
Those non-lethal weapons will only be used if another officer has a lethal option ready, like their new patrol rifles.
The rifles will be electronically locked inside patrol cars and all officers are trained on how to use them.
The department is also waiting for a shipment of thermal imaging cameras, which provide forward-looking infrared (or FLIR) capability.
“If they’re hiding in a tree or they’re hiding under a car…they’re not going to be able to get away from a FLIR, whereas they could get away from the spotlight,” said Enzbrenner. “This will help our night shift guys find those bad guys.”
The department also spent $90,000 to lengthen the storage time for body camera video from three months to six months.
All officers have body cams and they’ll be trained and equipped with the new pepperball pistols a week from Tuesday.
“My hope for the officers is they go home at night,” Enzbrenner said. “And that if and when, God forbid, they do have to use lethal force, that they’re capable of defending themselves and the public in general.”