TULSA - The Tulsa Police Department's newest officers are on patrol.
The 39 rookies graduated from the academy Dec. 21. Now they are in the middle of their field training program, where they respond to calls with veteran officers.
"It feels really good that we get to get out here everyday, put on the uniform, put on the badge and come out here and help these citizens as best we can," said Officer Dean Hidy, a recent graduate of the academy.
Their addition to the department means TPD now has 791 officers, the maximum number the department is allowed.
"It's just going to be able to help the officers handle the call load a lot better and possibly be a little more proactive instead of reactive," said veteran Officer Gene Hogan.
The new officers are beginning at a time when crime in Tulsa is declining. Burglaries, robberies, auto thefts and homicides are all down, according to statistics provided by the Tulsa Police Department.
READ: 'Tulsa 2012 murder rate taking shape' (http://bit.ly/Tulsamurder)
"We're going to be able to combat crime even more," said Hidy.
The rookies must complete another 14 weeks of field training before they begin working on their own.