OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, held an interim study today focusing on ways the Legislature can best protect and support law enforcement.
The study was held before the House Public Safety Committee, which Humphrey chairs.
“There are so many narratives in the public right now about how our police, sheriffs or other law enforcement agencies need to be reformed,” Humphrey said. “Combine that with outright attacks on our law enforcement officers, and it becomes a toxic mix. And yet, the majority of legislators and I believe the public at large value and support our police and other law enforcement and want to do all we can to protect them.”
The study looked at ways legislators can do a better job to support training, education and mental health resources for law enforcement officers themselves as well as for helping them as they interact with the public. Also part of the discussion was ways to better fund such training. Humphrey said the study will help inform him and other lawmakers as the write legislation for the coming legislative session.
Presenters at the study included:
Moore Police Chief Todd Gibson who detailed some of the horrific scenarios law enforcement officers are involved in on a daily basis and the kinds of mental health resources that are needed to help them deal with this as part of their jobs;
Durant Police Chief Randy Houser spoke about ways Oklahoma’s legal system has failed officers, reading an emotional letter from Officer Rick Ford who lost his son and three of his son’s friends in a fatal car crash caused by a repeat drunk driving offender.
Jerad Lindsey, chairman of the Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police, spoke on the status of law enforcement issues.
Jesus Campa, director of the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET), spoke on the agency’s response to law enforcement issues; and
Don Spencer with the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association detailed some legislative changes that are needed to clarify state laws as they relate to firearms and security guaranteed under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.