Tulsa Police using detectives to help with patrol officer shortage

Posted at 7:30 PM, Aug 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 12:18:57-04

TULSA -- The Tulsa Police Department is working to solve its officer shortage.

Right now, around 80 officers in the downtown detective division are being trained to go back out on patrol.

2 Works For You learned non-uniformed officers within the department will go on several two-week rotations for the next year to help out the patrol division.

The police union said the department is about 249 officers short of the 980 funded by the Vision tax.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel. This is a situation that is transient. It will go away very soon and we are all working towards that goal and we’ll be there before we realize it,” said Jerad Lindsey, Chairman of Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police.

To be eligible, officers must have a minimum of three years in uniform before applying for detective.

Officer Adam Ashley, who is one of the department’s public information officers, recently completed the refresher course to go back out in the field.

“…and what we’ll do is go out, get our uniforms back on and go back out on the street. Take calls for service and stop cars and just basically help the call load for the uniformed officers,” said Ashley.

Ashley said this plan will also help with call wait times for people who call for emergency services.

”If we have enough police officers out there than every call that comes in we’ll be able to get a timely response too.”

Lindsey said this plan could help eliminate mandatory overtime shifts some officers are working.

There's more help coming.

60 cadets right now are going through the training process.

Those cadets range from pre-hires to academy graduates who are with a field training officer.

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