Published: June 12, 2017
By: Crystal Price, KOCO
OKLAHOMA CITY —The Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police has launched an online campaign asking for city officials to approve a sales tax initiative to help hire more officers.
“They are going from call to call, and they don’t have time to get out there and be proactive and do police work in high-crime areas,” FOP President John George said.
That’s why the FOP has launched the Protect OKC website, calling for the city to hire 200 more police officers. Right now, city officials are considering reallocating a 0.25-cent of the 1-cent sales tax for police and fire jobs.
If the measure passes, it would allow the city to hire 129 more officers, which is something George said the city has needed for some time.
“It’s a great start,” he said. “It’s a little over half of what we need. It will be a huge step in the right direction.”
Police Chief Bill Citty said he agrees the tax could help bring in more officers, but he said it would take about three years to bring them in. So, he’s looking at other ways to help bring in more officers.
“The sales tax should go up,” Citty said. “The state is looking at some bills and some other ways to fund city government. So with that in mind, I’m pretty optimistic to be able to hire more officers.”
The City Council is scheduled to meet Tuesday for a hearing about the sales-tax initiative. The council will vote June 20 on whether to take the measure to an election in September.