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Oklahoma State Senate

Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

For Immediate Release: February 8, 2005

Audio Clip

Senator Kenneth Corn

Senator Corn Calls for Back-to-Back Trooper Academies

Saying the ranks of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol will be greatly depleted by retirements over the next 18 months, Senator Kenneth Corn called Tuesday for funding back-to-back Highway Patrol Academies in Fiscal Year 2006.

“It’s a matter of safety. We need to be ready by June of next year to put 100 new troopers into the field to ensure the safety of Oklahoma families. Since the last academy in 2002, we’ve had 40 troopers retire, resign or be killed in the line of duty. Over the next year and half we will lose as many as 60 more troopers to retirement,” said Corn, D-Poteau.

As chairman of the Senate Appropriations Sub-committee on Public Safety and Judiciary, Corn said he will push for funding for two academy classes in the FY 2006 budget lawmakers write this year.

Cost of the two academies would be approximately $4.5 million. That pays for the training and equipping two classes of 50 cadets each, along with their salaries throughout the five-month academy and three months of field training, Corn explained.

It takes several months for OHP to prepare for an academy and so it’s essential that lawmakers commit now to funding two academies in FY 2006 to ensure that new troopers will be ready to replace those who are planning retirement in the next 18 months, the Senator said.

“Oklahomans count on OHP Troopers to keep our highways and interstates safe. They count on the Legislature to make sure OHP has enough troopers in the field to carryout that mission. We need to step up to the plate now and fund back-to-back trooper academies in the next fiscal year,” Corn said.

For more information contact:
Senate Communications Office - (405) 521-5774

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