25 Laid Off Tulsa Police Officers Back On The Force

Monday, August 2nd 2010, 1:28 pm
By: News On 6

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The Tulsa Police Department is twenty-five officers stronger. The officers were sworn in Monday morning and will be back on the beat Tuesday after receiving pink slips more than six months ago. 

The Tulsa Police Department has been on a roller coaster ride for the better part of the year. From the ups of a full force, to the downs of layoffs.   

"One minute I'm ready to bawl and the next minute I pull myself together and I'm just mad," said Tulsa Police Officer John Gillert. 

And then another up with the rehiring of laid off officers.

"It's kind of hard to explain. This is my fourth time being sworn in," said Tulsa Police Officer Rob Miller. 

In January, 123 cops received pink slips due to budget cuts. The layoffs forced officers to at least consider joining other departments...   

"You know it's kind of like playing for your home team. You don't want to go play for the rival. Rivalry, you know I just wanted to play here," said Miller. 

...or to find other jobs out of law enforcement. 

"They were all Monday through Friday, eight to five, spending your life sitting in a cubicle and working the standard Dolly Parton nine to five. It didn't suit me," said Officer Travis Barnes. 

Now fast forward half a year and most of those police officers are back in their Tulsa Police Department blues.

"This time I feel like it was the overwhelming feeling that we all think that it's not going to happen again. We have faith in everybody that's in control of that," said Miller. 

"This is a good day for the police department and a bad day for criminals. We're glad to have them back," said Tulsa Police Interim Chief Chuck Jordan. 

The 25 police officers join another 50 who were put back on the beat in early July. 

7/16/2010  Related Story: Tulsa Police Department Grows By 50 Officers With Swearing In Ceremony

"For most of them, Tuesday night, they'll go right back to where they were in a patrol car. They've kept their skill sets up by participating with our reserve," said Jordan. 

Meaning the Tulsa Police Department's roller coaster ride may be over for now. 

"I wanted to work here. This is where my heart is and I knew that within time and God's timing that everything would work out. It always does," said Miller.