With 25 more Tulsa Police recruits and 26 fire academy graduates hitting the streets, the city has become safer.
Tulsa voters approved the Vision sales tax extension two years ago with a dedicated public safety tax to add 160 police officers, 70 firefighters and 16 personnel in the 911 center.
With the graduations, Vision is gradually fulfilling its promises.
TPD now has 786 sworn officers and an authorized force of 853. The fire department has 705 firefighters and and authorized strength of 742.
The new police officers — all of whom hold college degrees — should be commended for completing the 28-week training, which includes more than 1,056 hours of instruction in legal, firearms defensive tactics, driver’s training, report writing and officer survival.
They will transition into officers in training with 16 weeks with officers in the field.
Each new firefighter went through 880 hours of work, including medical, fire, forcible entry and hazardous material training.
With all that said, the job is not finished. More officers and firefighters are coming on line, but others are lost to attrition routinely.
It will take a lot of time, recruiting and training for the departments to work their way out of the holes they are in, but the city is making progress toward its goals.
Each graduation is a celebration and congratulations are due the city, the department, and, most particularly, the new officers and firefighters.
We congratulate the new officers and firefighters and welcome them to the job.