One area University wants to do its part to help solve the police shortage in the Oklahoma panhandle.
Newschannel10's Tina Berasley brings us that story. University professor Dr. Justin Collins will help teach support classes for the program at Oklahoma Panhandle State University. He said "Part of the need is for the local community and in order to attract new businesses and promote growth you have to have a strong backbone in law enforcement". If approved by the State's Board of Regents, Oklahoma Panhandle State University will start offering students the chance to train right here in Texas county.
They will study areas like evidence collection, traffic laws and emergency vehicle operation, all practical applications they can use on area streets. Most of the vehicles in the parking lot stay parked around the clock...the Guymon Police Department, usually a force of twenty officers now has twelve. Lt. Jason Bond says "Today I'm working the street which is a bad thing. Unfortunately I'm the one detective right now out of 3". Lt. Bond has to pick up extra duties to help keep the city safe. He says over the last year many officers left for higher paying jobs in private industries and bigger cities.
Not only will the school's program bring more officers it will keep their training in the area, saving both money and time. He added "Right now we spend 6 to 8 weeks training them. (With this) They'd already have that training, basically if they had knowledge of the streets we could put them right out on the streets with that training."