OK (KSWO)- The Department of Public Safety will be implementing additional cost-saving measures to make up for a budget shortfall for 2017.
OHP Chief Ricky G. Adams added, "The public is going to have to understand it will take a Trooper longer to get to them when they call if it isn't an emergency. I hope this budget situation can be resolved quickly because Troopers play such a critical role in protecting the public. It shouldn't take a national event like the Michael Vance manhunt to remind everyone how important Troopers are to the safety of Oklahoma. I hate to think what may have happened if Troopers were not there when Vance decided to violently confront the police with an assault rifle."
Troopers will have a daily 100-mile restriction on OHP patrol cars. OHP aircraft flying hours will be reduced and some dispatch operations will be altered between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. OHP is not hiring any State Troopers in 2017. There is no expansion of the 800 MHZ radio system and they are not filling vital positions such as driver licenses examiners and the loss of 32 critical employees in 2016.
DPS Commissioner Michael C. Thompson concluded, "Troopers risk their lives every single day for the people of Oklahoma. There is no doubt that DPS and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol are a core function of state government. I will do a better job of conveying that message in the upcoming legislative session."