A spike in violence against police officers is prompting change for a local department. More than a half-dozen officers have been killed in the past month alone.
In response, the Tahlequah Police Department is taking extra precautions.
For the first time, Tahlequah police officers are pairing up on patrols. Now there must be two officers per car when they're on shift.
Chief Nate King says he decided to make the change after hearing about attack after attack against law enforcement across the country. He says there have been no threats made against his department, but he did not want to take any risks.
It means police are doing fewer traffic patrols, and there may be a longer wait for non-emergency calls because there are fewer available officers. But King says he feels this keeps his guys safer during a time that feels as if law enforcement is being targeted.
"We saw it every day on the news and social media, another officer being injured or hurt or being killed,” King said. “It was weighing on people's minds. This was a move to help ease their minds, more than anything."
Chief King says this is not a permanent change. In fact, it could be later this week or next when patrols are back to normal.