State Sen. Ralph Shortey Wants More Training For Volunteer Officers

Apr 29, 2015

State Sen. Ralph Shortey (District 44, R-Oklahoma City)
Credit Oklahoma Senate

An Oklahoma lawmaker wants tougher requirements for people to be volunteer law enforcement officers after an unarmed suspect was shot dead by a 73-year-old reserve deputy in Tulsa County.

Flanked by current and former sheriffs and the head of the state's law enforcement training agency, state Sen. Ralph Shortey said Wednesday his bill would increase from 240 to 300 hours the amount of training a reserve officer must receive. Volunteer officers would also be required to obtain at least 12 hours of continuing education annually. None are required now.

The training requirements have come under scrutiny after volunteer deputy Robert Bates shot Eric Harris during an April 2 undercover sting. Bates is charged with second-degree manslaughter. He says he meant to draw his stun gun rather than his handgun.


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