Non-uniformed Tulsa, OK, officers, some of whom have not been in field positions for more than a decade, started a biweekly cycle Sunday back into the field to help alleviate the strain on patrol officers.
As Tulsa World reported last month, overtime for Tulsa police officers has spiked this summer, and fewer officers are available to pick up those shifts. Supervisors had been mandating that some officers stay later at the end of their shifts as needed, according to Deputy Chief Jonathan Brooks.
"We're below where we need to be at as a police department," TPD Officer Jeanne Mackenzie said.
The department has about 500 officers to cover patrol shifts. Subtracting those who are injured or on leave, the number of officers actually available is about 470, Brooks said last month.
About 10 years ago, the number of available patrol officers was more than 600, he said.
Tulsa has 755 sworn officers, with 679 of those available to work, TPD Sgt. Shane Tuell said Friday. To alleviate manpower issues in the field, non-uniformed officers will cycle into a patrol role every other week until June 30, 2018. About 100 officers are currently in patrol roles in each of the department's three divisions.