Small-Town Police Forces Shutting Down

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The strained economy and resulting budget cutbacks are hitting small town police departments especially hard. In the last year, the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police report the number of police departments in the state has dropped from 360 to 348.

The agency's executive director Stacey Puckett says he expects to see more close as a result of the economy.

Puckett says cutbacks also have affected equipment and staffing at those departments struggling to stay open in small towns.

He says worn out vehicles are often kept running with cheap fixes, old radar guns are patched so officers can write speeding tickets, and aged bulletproof vests are used.
Information from: The Oklahoman,

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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