That number used to be lower before Norman voters passed the Public Safety Sales Tax in 2008. The temporary seven-year tax provided the police department with funding to hire 41 additional officers, plus obtain their equipment.
The PSST is scheduled to operate through Sept. 30, 2015.
It also provided the Norman Fire Department with funding for additional fire personnel and equipment. Before the PSST, the fire department’s authorized strength was 133. Now it is 163. Of that 163, there are 150 fire suppression and 24-hour shift emergency responders.
Fire Chief James Fullingim said they currently only have five vacancies and most commonly only consider having another training academy when there are six vacancies.
“It probably won’t be until this time next year that we have another academy,” Fullingim said.
The last fire academy had 19 graduates, who were all males. There are no female firefighters in Norman.