Senator seeks to stop agency's 'police posture'
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A state senator says he's concerned about the Oklahoma Insurance Department's purchase of police vehicles, shotguns and other law enforcement equipment, and plans to introduce a bill to stop what he described as the agency's "police-like posture."
Republican Sen. Harry Coates of Seminole said Monday he believes Insurance Commissioner John Doak is engaging in "government overreach." Coates says the department shouldn't give the public the impression that the agency's anti-fraud investigators are a police force.
The Associated Press reported last week that the agency had spent more than $180,000 on seven police-package vehicles, shotguns with mountable lights and bulletproof vests.
Doak defended the purchases, saying the items were needed to keep his fraud investigators safe and citing a Louisiana case in which two insurance department agents were shot and killed.
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