- Associated Press - Thursday, May 26, 2016

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - An internal audit has found that several Tulsa County’s certified patrol deputies don’t meet strengthened standards enacted in January.

Undersheriff George Brown told the Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/1WmYKGj ) that he has identified seven full-time patrol deputies who don’t satisfy the higher number of field training hours.

Sheriff Vic Regalado presented that information Wednesday during the Tulsa County Criminal Justice Authority’s monthly meeting. The report caused trustees to order Regalado to ensure all training in his office passes muster.

The prior administration implemented the stricter standards in response to a scandal in which Robert Bates, a former Oklahoma volunteer sheriff’s deputy, was convicted of fatally shooting an unarmed man.

Brown later said the new policy calls for a 560-hour field training program. He said the most recent previous guidelines he could find were a 400-hour field training course.

Brown said two of the seven deputies will begin obtaining the additional hours on June 1. He said he expects them to be finished in 12 weeks.

The other five deputies will begin obtaining their hours six to eight weeks after June 1, he said. The two deputies who conclude their program first then will lead the final weeks of training with the subsequent five.

Regalado said the seven deputies remain on the street, but that it’s a priority to have them obtain those additional hours.

Regalado said he feels comfortable with them continuing to operate even though they didn’t fulfill policy requirements, whether the past administration or poor documentation is to blame. He said personnel issues factored into his decision.

“I believe if there was any type of liability issues in regards to that they certainly would’ve been yanked,” he said.

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Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com

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