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Coates Concerned Over Insurance Dept Moves (Dec 03, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A state senator says he's concerned about the Oklahoma Insurance Department's purchase of police vehicles, shotguns and other law enforcement equipment, and plans to introduce a bill to stop what he described as the agency's ``police-like posture.''

Republican Sen. Harry Coates of Seminole said Monday he believes Insurance Commissioner John Doak is engaging in ``government overreach.'' Coates says the department shouldn't give the public the impression that the agency's anti-fraud investigators are a police force.

The Associated Press reported last week that the agency had spent more than $180,000 on seven police-package vehicles, shotguns with mountable lights and bulletproof vests.

Doak defended the purchases, saying the items were needed to keep his fraud investigators safe and citing a Louisiana case in which two insurance department agents were shot and killed.

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