The agency that trains all Oklahoma law enforcement officers has a new partnership that's saving taxpayers a half-million dollars a year.
In the past, officers had to drive to Ada and live in dorms for 15 weeks, but now they can train in Broken Arrow and go home every night - meaning the state is not paying to house or feed them.
For the first time in more than a decade, 39 cadets are going through a CLEET academy at the Tulsa Technology Center in Broken Arrow.
Being in Broken Arrow allows the officers to go home each night, which is easier on families - something Cadet Elijah Presley with the Henryetta Police Department appreciates. He's married with three kids.
"I started off as a firefighter, then went to EMS, and that led me down this path, and I think I'm pretty good at it," he said.
Having a location in northeastern Oklahoma is also easier for the volunteer instructors and better for agencies, already stretched thin, who might need their officers closer to home.
CLEET Executive Director Steve Emmons said, "Because you never know when there's going to be an incident, never know when they'll have a call out and they need their people."
Tulsa Tech's Broken Arrow campus is providing the office space and classrooms for free.
"A relationship has been developed with BAPD to use their firearms range. The only thing this class will have to come to Ada for is the driving because there's just not a facility or vehicles available," Emmons said.
Getting 500 new officers trained every year, and making sure nearly 10,000 full-time officers get their required 25 hours of training each year is expensive; and with budget cuts, this partnership is critical.
Emmons said, "We get these people through faster and out on the street quicker."
It’s also easier for the volunteer instructors and better for the officers' agencies.
A new law also requires all reserve officers in Oklahoma to get eight hours of training each year, and we have nearly 4,000 reserves.