Twelve Tulsa Police officers leave next week to help out at the Presidential inauguration

Friday, January 14th 2005, 11:36 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa's finest protect the president. A dozen Tulsa Police officers leave next Tuesday to work during the inauguration events. They will assist Washington DC Police patrol the crowds during the presidential parade and at the inaugural balls.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright says Tulsa Police Corporal Steve Wood has been on the department for more than 20 years and when the opportunity came to help Washington DC Police with security next week, he signed up.

He's excited about the change to serve, understanding anything could happen. "Certainly that's in the back of our minds. We have to be ready for anything, crowds, attacks, anything."

This is the first inauguration since the September 11th attacks, so security has never been tighter surrounding the swearing-in of a president.

Washington DC Police originally asked Tulsa for 40 officers but because of the manpower shortage, the city can only send 12. The officers feel they are well prepared for any situation. “You handle crowds the same way in DC as in Tulsa as in LA. Your tactics are generally going to be the same."

This is the first time Tulsa has ever been asked to supply officers for the inaugural events and even though the officers don't expect to meet the president, they are looking forward to something different. “Absolutely unique opportunity. They may decide this is too expensive and not do it again or the war on terror may be a thing of the past in four years and they won't need the extra security. So, it's a great opportunity and I'm very lucky to be picked."

Tulsa officers will wear their own uniforms while working in DC and that city will pay for their flights, hotels, food and salaries while they're working the inaugural events. The officers leave Tuesday, will get their assignments and training on Wednesday and work the events on Thursday.

They will be deputized so they'll have the same arrest powers in Washington DC that they have here.