Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett proposes TPD increase, paid by capital improvements package

TULSA - Tulsa mayor Dewey Bartlett proposed an increase in city law enforcement Thursday, paid for with money designated for capital improvements.

The mayor told the City Council Thursday Tulsa needs around 100 more officers, citing a 5-year-old study suggesting a minimum of 830 police patrolling the city's streets. Tulsa's force currently sits near 780.

Tulsa police chief Chuck Jordan agrees the number of officers under his command is too low, and suggested that a hiring surge would equate to more school safety officers and could help clean up some of the city's more dangerous areas.

"Foot patrols are a very effective way to target [danger areas], and we can get in amongst the people and get to know the people and really have a presence there," Jordan said.

Bartlett is requesting the existing capital improvements project--and its potential extension in November--would also include the construction of future fire stations in east and west Tulsa and for street maintenance as part of a public safety pot. 

That $12 million portion, Bartlett says, would be a permanent fund, whether voters decide to extend the improvement package. 

But the mayor calls it a no-brainer.

"I really feel that the public is going to understand the need, understand the significance of it, but they'll understand also [that] it's a way to solve the problem," he said.

Members of the TPD and the mayor's office will meet again with the Council Tuesday to present more concrete details on the proposal. 

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