The Oklahoma Insurance Department faced intense criticism after a report revealed it spent more than $180,000 on high-tech shotguns, bulletproof vests and seven police-package vehicles for its anti-fraud unit. Now, the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) has passed a resolution of support for the department’s actions, the OID announced.
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak has defended the purchases, saying the help ensure the safety of investigators and are not paid for with taxpayer money.
The OACP passed the resolution after hearing from Doak and the department’s anti-fraud investigators at an OACP meeting on Dec. 13.
“Fraud is something we take very seriously,” Doak told the group. “We know your resources are strained. When you’re stretched to the limit, we can step in and investigate the insurance fraud cases that otherwise would go untouched. We’re here to help you.”
OACP President and Director of Public Safety for the City of Stillwater Norman McNickle said the members of the OACP support the anti-fraud unit 100 percent.
“What Commissioner Doak and his investigators provide is so valuable to Oklahoma law enforcement agencies,” said McNickle. “They target an area of crime that many times goes unpunished simply because of lack of resources or manpower. We’re grateful to the Anti-Fraud Unit for filling that gap. We also believe its investigators should have the proper equipment and weapons to protect themselves in the line of duty. Every law enforcement officer knows that a ‘routine’ investigation can turn deadly in the blink of an eye.”
The OACP also voiced support for the OID’s legislative agenda, which includes a bill allowing law enforcement officers to pull over a driver for failing to obtain current auto insurance.
Source: Oklahoma Insurance Department