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TPD Foundation Donating 200 Pepper Ball Launchers for Officers

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A nonprofit supporting the Tulsa Police Department is adding another less-lethal weapon to officers’ equipment.

The TPD Foundation is donating 200 pepper ball launchers to the department. The less-lethal weapons are pistol-sized and use compressed gas canisters to fire rounds similar to paint balls but filled with a variety of irritants.

"Any time we have another less-lethal option available to us, that’s great. It helps in de-escalation, it keeps us from escalating to possible deadly force or force that’s really going to hurt a subject," said TPD Chief Chuck Jordan.

Tulsa police used pepper balls earlier this year to disperse a crowd at the BOK Center. The crowd became unruly after rapper Travis Scott rescheduled a show at the last minute.

TPD Foundation, a nonprofit set up by local businessmen and others in 2014, previously donated hundreds of high-end Tasers to TPD because few officers had them. The foundation also paid for officers' training with the Tasers.

"They’ve been an outstanding partner. We wouldn’t have a lot of the equipment we have if we didn’t have the community organizations," Jordan said.

The foundation also supports programs like TPD  Reading Patrol, which pairs officers with kids to read to them and help with homework, and a holiday random acts of kindness program.