Tulsa Police Department Making Progress In Recruiting New Officers

Police recruiting dropped during police protests and the pandemic, but Ohnesorge said it’s trending back up. He said department salaries are on par with private sector alternatives, but they worry without increases, the department will lose any competitive edge.

Wednesday, November 15th 2023, 6:44 pm



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The Tulsa Police Department is making gains in recruiting new officers, in part because of new agreements with universities to offer college credit through the TPD Academy.

The department has agreements with Oklahoma State, Northeastern State, East Central University, Rogers State and New Mexico State.

A now expired $15,000 signing bonus generated interest, but the department believes it made the difference in recruiting for only a few candidates.

“The $15,000 spiked the applications and interest, but it didn't spike the qualified applicants. It did make a difference for the few that were trying to make a decision on which (department),” said Major Mark Wollmershauser, who oversees recruiting for TPD. The Department has three full-time recruiters and 40 officers who recruit part-time.

Captain Mark Ohnesorge said the revamped Join TPD website has helped potential recruits get more information, but an analysis of the site showed “about 48% click off the website once they see the salary and benefits.”

Police recruiting dropped during police protests and the pandemic, but Ohnesorge said it’s trending back up. He said department salaries are on par with private sector alternatives, but they worry without increases, the department will lose any competitive edge.

The department trained 80 new officers the year before the pandemic and only 40 this year, according to a presentation given to the City Council Wednesday.

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