The Governor and Oklahoma Highway Patrol are hoping to hire law enforcement officers from out of state, who might want to move here because they currently live in a state that requires COVID-19 vaccinations.
OHP will allow those officers who are already on the job, to go through a shortened academy. Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the Governor supports individual freedoms, and if you are a member of law enforcement needing a job, you are welcome in Oklahoma.
Trooper Eric Foster is the lead recruiter for Oklahoma Highway Patrol and he says there's been a lot of interest from people across the country wanting to come work in Oklahoma.
"That individual freedom that you have, that is so important to you and your family, we support that here in Oklahoma," Foster said.
Governor Kevin Stitt says freedom includes the ability to say no and has invited out-of-state law enforcement officers to come and join the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
"There is a tension across the country for good experienced law enforcement officers who are afraid of not having their job anymore because they might have a choice to not take a vaccine," Foster said.
Foster says OHP's next academy will be shorter than the traditional one, for those who have two or more years' experience, so they can get to work quicker.
He says they will also be paid for that experience, rather than starting at a beginner's salary.
"That experience will allow us to shorten our academy, there are things we don't have to instruct on because they will be former law enforcement," Foster said.
Foster says with more people eager to come and work in Oklahoma, it will benefit everyone in the state.
"We are willing and ready to accept you to be able to come to Oklahoma without fear of any kind of repercussion because you believe a certain way or not," He said.
The academy will begin in April.