No Plans To Change TPD Reserve Officer Program

Thursday, April 16th 2015, 11:32 pm
By: News On 6

In light of the Tulsa County Sheriff's office reserve deputy investigation, the city of Tulsa is evaluating the Tulsa Police Department's reserve officer program. The program currently has 55 volunteers.

Department representatives at the city council meeting Thursday said in the city of Tulsa, reserve officers are required to have just as much training as a sworn officer.

4/11/2015 Related Story: Tulsa County Sheriff's Office Releases Video Of Deputy-Involved Shooting

The Tulsa Police Department patrols the streets and keeps Tulsans safe. And according to Sergeant Les Young, in many cases, reserve officers volunteer to do the same work.

"We want to make sure that our reserve officers are trained and they have the ability and the equipment to do the job that they're asked d to do. And we utilize those officers to be a force multiplier for the full time guys," Young said.

During a city council meeting Thursday, three members of the Tulsa Police Department answered councilors' questions and outlined what it means to become a reservist.

The Council of Law Enforcement Education and Training, or CLEET, requires reserve officers to complete 250 hours of training, but Tulsa Police requires reservists to complete around 450 – nearly double the CLEET requirement.

"We want to train our reserve officers to be the same, or equivalent," said Young.

There are three types of reserve officers – cadets, district beat supporters and third level reserves.

Cadets are in training. District beat supporters can patrol at events like Mayfest and are allowed to ride along with a sworn officer and third level reserves can ride by themselves, respond to minor traffic accidents, certain alarms and possibly more serious incidents if necessary.

Typically, even the highest level reservist won't be assigned to a dangerous police operation, according to Young.

"They are not allowed to go into pursuit, drive code one - red lights and sirens - unless there is imminent threat to human life that they can articulate," he said.

Since the reservists are volunteers, the city saves around $500,000 to $900,000 a year.

Police said the current reserve program has served the city well, so, as of right now, there are no plans to change it.