OKLAHOMA CITY – Earlier this month, the Senate approved legislation codifying the authority of municipalities to adopt ordinances allowing the painting of blue lines and posting of signage to honor law enforcement officers. Sen. Mary Boren tried to amend Senate Bill 834 to include similar recognition by cities and towns for first responders and medical care providers, but her amendment was not allowed to be heard on the Senate floor.
“Norman has one of the best law enforcement departments in Oklahoma that works as a cohesive team with fire fighters, EMTs, health care providers and other first responders to keep the public safe,” Boren said.
During debate, Boren commended the Norman Police Department for embracing professional standards of policing, including Crisis Intervention Training (CIT). Law enforcement officers who are trained in CIT are prepared to guide interactions between law enforcement and those living with a mental illness.
“Several times, I’ve trusted the Norman Police Department to work with health care providers, firefighters, and EMTs to provide public safety in a way that protects the dignity of my clients, family members, and neighbors experiencing a mental health crisis,” Boren said
Boren also mentioned the award recently earned by the Norman Fire Department by the Insurance Services Office and recognized by Glen Mulready, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner, at a special ceremony at the Norman City Council Meeting on Feb. 9, 2021.
“The NFD achieved the highest ISO rating for fighting fires and keeping our community safe and they deserve special recognition as an elite department,” Boren said. “Norman has an outstanding team, including law enforcement, first responders and health care providers who keep us safe. I hoped that the author of Senate Bill 834 would have accepted my amendment to include all members of the team but unfortunately, first responders and health care workers remain excluded.”
Boren noted she will continue working to amend other similar pieces of legislation to get first responders and healthcare providers the recognition they deserve.
For more information, contact: Sen. Boren: (405) 521-5553 or Mary Boren@oksenate.gov
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