Tulsa Police Better Prepared For Snow After 2011 Blizzard Experience

Monday, February 3rd 2014, 7:50 pm
By: News On 6

During the blizzard of 2011, police officers and other emergency crews had just as much trouble getting around as citizens. It was common to see Tulsa police cars stuck in the snow.

But that's all changed now.

Since the blizzard, Tulsa Police Department has bought 24 four-wheel drive Tahoes, along with Explorers. Plus 85 all-wheel drive Interceptors and they have 80 more coming this year.

Officers said it's made a huge difference in how they get around now when snow and ice hit.

During the 2011 blizzard, police cars were pretty much worthless for getting officers to people in need. The department tried to rent four-wheel drive vehicles, but, there weren't any available, so a lot of officers resorted to using their own.

"I used my personal four-wheel drive truck to get an officer to and from work and around to different calls," said Officer Jeremy Lawson. "Since then, we've had several snow storms, not as bad as that, but really, I haven't heard of anyone getting stuck since then."

The addition of the four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles makes it a lot easier for officers to get around during bad weather.

They also used homeland security money to buy six generators, one to run each police station and some of the other police buildings. One year, power went out at the Riverside division, which is also a city gas station, which meant emergency vehicles couldn't get gas.

All these changes ensure officers and firefighters can get gas and can help citizens during emergencies, no matter what the weather.

"Other people can call in sick when it's a snow day or stay home, but, police officers, firefighters, EMSA, all emergency vehicles have to get out to the public," Lawson said.

Police said the all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles are more expensive, so they can't buy as many vehicles, but, that it's worth it to be equipped to handle anything Mother Nature throws at them.