TULSA -- Public safety, education, and development are the top concerns for Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum right now.
During his State of the City Address the mayor said the need for more policing is urgent, as the city deals with high homicide and violent crime rates. Now Tulsa is tripling the size of hiring academies.
"We have police that are running from one 911 call to another and another without the ability to do any sort of proactive policing or to develop relationships within the community that would allow them to prevent crimes from happening before they do," Bynum said.
Tulsa Police officers said they're struggling to fill these academies when salaries are not competitive with surrounding cities.
"Our police and firefighters aren't being paid what they should be. That is something that we'll continue to work on annually through our budget process," Bynum said.
The city also faces budget challenges with education. Bynum said it's tough to attract businesses when employees are concerned with where to send their children to school.
"Those are very challenging questions when we are powerless at the local level to fund education at the level that many of believe it should be funded," he said.
Tulsa's current strategy is approaching the state government to approve a property tax option that could improve teacher salaries.
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