The Tulsa Police Department is struggling to recruit new officers.
Department leaders said there are several reasons for this, but they hope to see a chance in the numbers soon.
Each Tulsa Police Academy class has 30 spots; so far there are 10 people who applied for the next academy class.
After months of testing, training, and waiting, Shelbi Elmore is finally a Tulsa Police Officer.
“When you’re passionate about something you’re willing to wait you know also, just specifically with Tulsa the caliber of training here.. I mean there is no better department in the state in my opinion," said Officer Elmore.
The pandemic pushed back her original academy class start date a full year. And in that year, TPD has seen the recruitment numbers drop.
“Obviously we can’t have these career fairs, we can’t go out to class presentations you know we’ve had some virtual stuff, but it just doesn’t have the same impact and without that ability to do that our recruiting numbers have definitely dropped," said Officer Khara Bresee.
Officer Bresee is a recruiter for Tulsa Police Department.
“We’re really trying to have events we’re actually going to be having a women in policing event this summer and we’re going to have an all welcome type hiring event this fall and those people are definitely invited to come and check it out and see if maybe this is something I want to do," said Officer Bresee.
She said she hopes the recruiting events answer some questions for anyone interesting in law enforcement or about what it’s like to be a police officer in today’s climate.
“I know that my heart is in the right place and I know that I’m passionate about the job and actually being out there to be a public servant for the community and I think that’s something people in the community need right now is to see that officers are out there to be public servants and to serve the people that’s what we’re there for," said Officer Elmore.
TPD said the last class to begin with every slot filled was in 2019.
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