Published: June 12, 2017
By: Karl Torp, News9
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Fraternal Order of Police has launched a campaign aimed at hiring more police officers in Oklahoma City.
The campaign is encouraging voters to approve a plan to extend the MAPS penny sales tax which would increase funding for public safety.
The vote would be in September and allow for 129 new officers.
“We aren’t really serving the citizens the right way,” said FOP President John George about current officer numbers.
George claims that while Oklahoma City has grown by 200,000 people in the last 20 years, the number of patrol officers responding to 911 calls hasn’t changed.
The FOP has been sending flyers out to voters, encouraging them to contact their city council member about the issue. The FOP also created a website called www.protectokc.com.
The website provides information about an increase in violent crime.
Oklahoma City police Chief Bill Citty disputes some of FOP’s statistics, but agrees that his department is understaffed.
“For this city right now, overall at some point we should be around 1,300 officers,” said Citty.
The department has around 1,075 officers.
Three quarters of the money from the penny sales tax would go to capital improvements. One quarter of the tax would go to public safety and would raise $26 million.
The Oklahoma City City Council, which will decide whether to put the plan on the ballot, is holding a public meeting on the issue at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall.