Oklahoma Lawmakers Reviewing Reserve Officer Training

Wednesday, April 29th 2015, 11:17 pm
By: News On 6

Wednesday, the Tulsa County Sheriff announced changes to his reserve deputy program.

Sheriff Stanley Glanz said his reserve deputies can no longer go out on patrol by themselves and the advanced reserve program is put on hold while the training file of each reserve deputy is audited.

4/29/2015 Related Story: TCSO Confirms Changes To Reserve Deputy Program

The changes come as lawmakers try to reform reserve programs across the state.

The accidental shooting of Eric Harris by Tulsa County Reserve Deputy Robert Bates is bringing Republican and Democratic lawmakers together to make changes to the state's reserve program.

Special Coverage: TCSO Reserve Deputy Shooting Controversy

Oklahoma lawmakers like Representative, Ralph Shortey, are calling for a conversation on the state's reserve officer training programs.

"Tulsa provided us an opportunity to realize what deficiencies we have. I cannot say that I've ever looked at the training requirements of our reserve deputies before that reserve deputy got into that situation that he did, and now that provides us an opportunity to look at everything," Shortey said.

One of the proposals is to raise the CLEET training program minimums to 300 hours. Right now reserves are only required to receive 240 hours of training before going out on patrol.

"We feel that there's a deficiency with our reserve officers. We feel like they have a deficiency in training especially when it comes to continuing education," Shortey said.

There are more than 3,500 reserve officers and deputies in the state; 55 volunteer their time with Tulsa Police Department.

4/16/2015 Related Story: No Plans To Change TPD Reserve Officer Program

"It's about a year process commitment on those guys to volunteer their time and it's also a commitment from their families to allow that time, so you miss out on vacations and those type things that comes up, if you miss it there's really not a way to make it up," said Les Young with Tulsa Police.

Reserve officers for the Tulsa Police Department already exceed the state minimums and the proposed changes, with more than 380 hours of academy training and 40 hours of additional training each year.

“We want to make sure they're trained the same as our full time guys, we want to make sure when they get out they'll react or as close as possible react the same way as our full time guys do," Young said.

Young said his reserves volunteered 16,000 hours last year, serving at special events and out on patrol alongside full time officers.