New DPS Commissioner speaks of shortage of soldiers, body cameras and prosecutions | State and regional news
Soldiers who would normally work 20 to 35 years of age leave with much less service time.
“We have hundreds of soldiers who are eligible and could go out and get their maximum benefits from the retirement system,” Tipton said. “We are ripe to lose many of our older and more seasoned soldiers.”
Another problem is getting sufficient funding for a soldiers’ academy, he said.
“When we fund an academy, the funding we ask for per cadet includes their first year of employment from the day they enter the academy until the end of their probationary period,” Tipton said. “This is their first year of salary and benefits, all their equipment, their car, which they get used to, their three firearms, their uniforms, their ballistic vests. All equipment is included in this cost.
It costs $ 150,000 to have a cadet go through the process, he said.
The agency received financial assistance from the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority with funding for the academy. The OTA contracts with OHP to patrol the highways.
Tipton has been asked about a growing number of incidents where law enforcement has been recorded using excessive force.
“We have a problem for the whole story of specific people not doing the right thing when they should,” Tipton said. “No different in this profession than in any other profession.”