Reserve deputies ready to get back to program with sheriff's changes
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) —
The Tulsa County sheriff is putting his final touches on the revamped reserve deputy program.
Sheriff Vic Regalado said he is implementing changes and the program will be back soon.
Some changes include requiring deputies to have additional hours of field, tactical and decision-making training, fit-for-duty examinations and electronic storage of all training records.
Reserves will also only patrol with certified deputies and will not be assigned to special operations or task forces.
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"We're not going to cut corners, as I've said it before, and we're going to continue moving on and whenever everybody's met the requirements then they'll be activated," said Regalado.
Reserve deputies said they think Regalado is doing a great job implementing the program.
"I'm not impatient," said Richie Stewart, a reserve deputy. "Things have had to play out so I totally understand that and respect that and I also have a lot of faith in the leadership at the sheriff's office. I know that they would make the right decisions and do what's best for not only the department but for the public."
The reserve program was suspended in April 2015 after then-reserve deputy Robert Bates shot and killed an unarmed suspect during an undercover operation. In the months after the shooting, allegations of falsified training records, special treatment and misconduct in the sheriff's office prompted a number of resignations by high-ranking members of the office.
Bates was convicted of second-degree manslaughter while former Sheriff Stanley Glanz is facing two misdemeanor charges for willful violation of the law and refusal to perform official duty.
Meanwhile, Regalado said he has nine reserve deputies almost back to reserve status and he hopes to have almost all 75 reserve deputies re-instated in time for the Tulsa State Fair.