OK (KSWO) - The Department of Public Safety has confirmed that the agency is considering furloughing State Troopers and DPS employees across Oklahoma after losing several million dollars in budget cuts the last two years. This will adversely affect the department's core functions. DPS is considering the possibility of 23 furlough days that will affect both Troopers, civilian employees, driver license testing and implied consent hearings.
DPS Commissioner Michael Thompson has submitted a $12 million budget supplement appropriations plan to State Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger. Without this budget supplement, DPS will not be able to maintain the present levels of staffing and operations, which are already at a reduced level.
"I am very optimistic that the leadership will recognize the urgency of this request and move forward to support public safety as they always have," Thompson said.
"We are working with the Governor's office and Legislature on building the needed support for the requested $12 million supplement, as the ongoing mission of public safety in Oklahoma is dependent on it. This budget supplement is the minimum necessary to allow the OHP and DPS to maintain the current level of services to the public," said OHP Chief Rick Adams.
DPS has taken many steps to reduce expenditures, including a freeze on hiring new employees or replacing approximately 27 outgoing employees, suspending the upgrade of the new 800 MHz radio system for statewide emergency responders and delaying the upgrade of aging computer and technology networks.