OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A bill to help Oklahoma towns increase law enforcement has been passed unanimously by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Senate Bill 1095, authored by Senator Grant Green, R-Wellston, allows retired law enforcement members to be hired full-time in small towns.

“Just as the business community is struggling to maintain their workforce, smaller municipalities are struggling to retain and recruit police officers as they compete with larger cities, who can pay more,” Green said. “Currently, retired law enforcement members are only allowed to work 25 hours, but this bill would allow them to return to the workforce full-time without impacting their retirement benefits.”

According to Sen. Green, SB 1095 would let towns with a population of 4,000 or less to hire a retired police officer over the age of 45, a member of the Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System (OPPRS), and currently receiving benefits.

Sen. Green added that the officer would not be subject to the requirements and responsibilities of the OPPRS and would not get any additional credit toward retirement.

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“We have so many retired highway patrolmen, game wardens, Bureau of Narcotics agents, and other law enforcement officers, who are willing to use their experience and training to work in these smaller communities,” Green said.

“This is an opportunity to improve public safety in dozens of towns statewide, and I’m anxious to get this bill to the governor’s desk.”

Officials say nearly 70 Oklahoma towns would meet the population requirement. The bill will now go to the Senate for further review.