Five Norman police officers are leaving the department.
While the reason for their departure has not been released, their decision comes after Norman’s city council cut the agency’s proposed budget by about $865,000.
This adds to the nine previous positions the department was forced to leave empty after the latest budget cuts.
Because of lack of funding the department is locked in a hiring freeze and may not be able to replace the positions.
“We have had a couple of retirements, one was expected, one wasn't. We have had a few resignations as well,” said Lt. Justin Wishon. “If it is better for the officer, and for their family, we are not going to fault them.”
Norman’s Fraternal Order of Police president said the department has always done more with less.
Data provided by the FOP compared Norman to other cities of the same size, and statistics showed Norman officers respond to more calls. Also, when it came to solved crimes. Norman was just above the national average.
Norman's sought after academy makes officers top job candidates across the state.
Moore Police Department confirmed they will hire two positions at the end of the month.
“That's encouraging for us that there will be other applicants out there. Overall, we just want the best applicant available,” said Sgt. Jeremy Lewis of Moore Police Department. “It's not the easiest time to recruit police officers. When all you see is negativity towards police officers.”
News 9 also checked with Edmond and Oklahoma City.
Those departments report they are not hiring officers at this time.