The Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety express their appreciation to Gov. Mary Fallin and the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority for providing funding for an OHP training academy in 2018.
Under the plan, OTA will provide $5 million toward next year’s academy, providing training and equipping of troopers through their first year, at a cost of more than $157,000 per Trooper.
“We deeply appreciate the Governor’s leadership to reach the critical goal of hiring troopers for 2018,” DPS Commissioner Michael C. Thompson said. “Without this support from the OTA, the OHP would not be able to add state troopers to our ranks in 2018. We deeply appreciate the unwavering support from the OTA and Gov. Mary Fallin.”
OTA Director Tim Gatz said, “This partnership with the Department of Public Safety is vital to allow the Turnpike system to maintain adequate staffing to ensure the safety of the traveling public. We are fortunate to be able to step up and help DPS with an academy because this will benefit all Oklahomans, and there is nothing more crucial than the safety of all motorists.”
OHP has law enforcement authority over Oklahoma’s turnpike system. OTA authorities say this funding will help OTA to maintain the current number of troopers assigned to turnpikes, as well as assisting OHP in providing additional manpower across the state to areas that are currently understaffed.
“Thanks to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority for agreeing to pay $5 million so the Highway Patrol can conduct a trooper academy next year,” Gov. Fallin said. “Approximately 26 percent of our current troopers are eligible for retirement. This academy will help us prepare for the future by providing troopers to help bolster the patrol’s manpower across the state.”