Tulsa's Police Academy Gearing Up For More Recruits

Friday, April 15th 2016, 6:24 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Tulsa’s police force is getting 19 new officers.

The Academy graduated the new cadets on Friday, and on Monday, the process starts over.  Tulsa is about to go into an unprecedented cycle of police hiring - with almost constant academies fueled by the Vision plan.

The newest police recruits finished classroom training and will head out into the field for more training next week.  Each got a brand new badge on their chest, something Tulsa will see more of in the coming years.

Officer Sam Crenshaw's assignment is north Tulsa and downtown.

"Something I've been wanting to do my whole life, something I've been waiting for,” Crenshaw said. “I grew up in Tulsa, knew the streets a little bit. Ever since I saw a Tulsa police officer, I knew that's a profession I wanted to be in."

A new academy class starts Monday with 15 recruits, and another one is planned for the fall if there's room in the budget.  After that, Tulsa Vision money kicks in guaranteeing money to hire officers.

"The first Vision-funded academy class will be in about May of 2017,” Tulsa Police Major Ryan Perkins said. “The dollars don't start accruing until January. We'll have to get a few dollars in the bank before we're able to pay a group of people."

The police department plans to increase the force by 160 officers.  The academies they've had the last several years have only replaced officers who retire.

“We do one academy and that gets us back to where we were last year, and so adding means we have to accelerate our process out here with the numbers we're going to be bringing through,” Perkins said.

The department can train about 30 officers at a time with the space available at the academy and officials say potential recruits are already calling because they've heard Tulsa is hiring.