The Department of Public Safety will hold an Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy early next year thanks to funding from the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.
“I’d like to thank the Turnpike Authority and Director Tim Gatz for making this happen,” said House Majority Leader Rep. Mike Sanders, R-Kingfisher. “I also appreciate House leadership and Oklahoma Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Thompson for helping to facilitate this arrangement.”
“One of the top priorities of state government is protecting our citizens,” said Sanders. “The Oklahoma Highway Patrol was unable to fund an academy this year to hire new troopers. Currently, 790 troopers protect more than 112,000 miles of Oklahoma roads. Having new troopers on our roads will help keep Oklahomans safe.”
State Rep. John Bennett, the chair of the House Public Safety Committee, echoed the thanks to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority for the $5 million that will fund up to 30 recruits for the next trooper academy. The money will fund the academy, future training, equipment, salary and benefits for the troopers for a year.
“I want to thank the Turnpike Authority for working with us when we are in dire need of a trooper academy to help keep our highways and turnpikes safe.
Bennett recalled a story from President Ronald Reagan in which he asked people to imagine a thin blue line separating people and all of the things they love and hold dear from all of the things that threaten harm.
“These boys in brown are part of that thin blue line that keeps all the bad things from getting to all of the good things we enjoy in life,” said Bennett, R-Sallisaw.