OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma's top law enforcement trainer says volunteer police and sheriff's deputies need to undergo more training, even if they're former full-time officers.
Steve Emmons leads the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, which oversees law-enforcement training statewide.
He's working with lawmakers to mandate more training after Robert Bates, a volunteer Tulsa County sheriff's deputy, said he mistook his handgun for a stun gun before fatally shooting an unarmed suspect this month. Bates has pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter.
Other than passing an annual firearms certification, Oklahoma law didn't require additional training because Bates attended a police academy and worked for a year as a patrolman in the mid-1960s.
Emmons says there's currently no requirement for continuing education once a person becomes certified, but he's looking to change that.