Movement Underway To Restart TCSO Reserve Program With Stricter Guidelines

Monday, May 2nd 2016, 7:29 pm
By: Craig Day

The Tulsa County reserve deputy program was suspended after a shooting involving former reserve deputy, Bob Bates; but, there’s a move underway to restart it under much stricter guidelines.

The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office said new sheriff, Vic Regalado, has taken an in-depth look at the reserve program.

Deputy Justin Green said, "Evaluated some things and come up with the direction he'd like to see it go in."

That includes significantly more training - well beyond the 240 hours CLEET requires.

"Some additional field experience and just some extra accountability, there's an additional supervisor whose been added to the program," Green said.

Reserve deputies will have to complete 480 hours of field training, including additional time at the gun range, scenario training, and two weeks of patrol training and reserves will no longer be allowed to patrol on their own.

The program will return in small increments.

"It's not going to be one large reactivation, it's going to be when each individual reserve meets the new requirements," Green said.

The volunteers won't be assigned to special operations units or task forces - Bates was working on a task force when the 73-year-old reserve deputy shot Eric Harris.

Special Coverage: TCSO Reserve Deputy Shooting Controversy

Some question whether the reserve program should have an age limit.

Green said, "There's not a specific age limit, but you are going to have to be able to perform the tasks that are required of you as a reserve."

Regalado's new reserve deputy policy must go before a review board, which could happen this week. If it's approved, then reserve deputies can begin joining the program if they meet the new requirements.

Any new reserve deputies would have to go through a background check, pass a written test and physical agility tests. Also, a doctor must make sure they're fit for duty.