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Group Protests Outside Tulsa Mayor's Home

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Three days after 37 city of Tulsa employees were laid off, a small group protested those layoffs outside the home of Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor. Three days after 37 city of Tulsa employees were laid off, a small group protested those layoffs outside the home of Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor.
In a news release, a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police said the group recognizes and appreciates the outpouring of support it's received after the city laid off 21 Tulsa police officers. In a news release, a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police said the group recognizes and appreciates the outpouring of support it's received after the city laid off 21 Tulsa police officers.

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Three days after 37 city of Tulsa employees, including 21 police officers, were laid off, a small group protested those layoffs outside the home of Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor.

Thursday evening, Tulsa's Fraternal Order of Police urged residents not to hold a demonstration at the mayor's home as suggested on a Tulsa radio station Thursday.  

In a news release, a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police said the group recognizes and appreciates the outpouring of support it's received after the city laid off 21 Tulsa police officers.

10/29/2009 Related story: Tulsa FOP: Don't Hold Protest At Mayor's Home 

The first two people to show up to the quickly thrown together, loosely organized protest came because they live up north and were frustrated that 12 of the 21 officers laid off, work that area -- an area they believe needs more police, not fewer. They were soon joined by about nine or 10 others.

Marsha Fritz, a teacher, and her six-year-old daughter were among them.

"Tulsa police come out and give time to teach children about public safety and I think it's important we support them," said Marsha Fritz, a protester.

Kelsey Morris heard about the protest and decided to go because he feels like police should be the last cuts made to the budget.

"I came out here because there's no reason to be losing cops. There could be other ways we can be cutting. I'm not sure on how, that's not my job. My job as a citizen is to speak my mind freely and support the police department and I came here to let officers know we support them," said Kelsey Morris, a protester.

Paul Tay, a former mayoral candidate, was at the protest, mostly joking and videotaping those videotaping him. The number of media at the protest was about even with the number of protesters.

A couple of girls who live across the street from the mayor thought it was such a spectacle they got out their lawn chairs.

Aaron Griffith says he feels the city is in this mess by focusing on style over substance.

"I was also opposed to moving into the new city hall, lot of problems stem from that. I don't buy the reason of declining sales tax as the reason for layoffs," said Aaron Griffith, a protester.

Griffith said he thinks it has to do with misspending.

One protester said she thought once the officers took furlough days, they wouldn't be laid off and worries about what's next.

Mayor Taylor says if state law was changed to allow cities to have their income based on property taxes, like the county, the budget wouldn't be in such a crisis.

10/28/2009  Related Story: Tulsa Mayor: City Could Have Averted Layoffs

Friday morning, Phillip Evans, F.O.P. president issued another statement concerning the layoffs:

"In response to challenges made recently to the Fraternal Order of Police and our Membership, we challenge current and future elected officials to pursue a more stable funding source to provide essential city services."

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