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Eighteen Laid Off Tulsa Police Officers Will Be Rehired

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Mayor Kathy Taylor learned Monday the Department of Justice will allow the city to use stimulus money to rehire 18 of the 21 officers who were scheduled to be let go. Mayor Kathy Taylor learned Monday the Department of Justice will allow the city to use stimulus money to rehire 18 of the 21 officers who were scheduled to be let go.
"We're all ecstatic. We've been on the phone pretty much back and forth since we got the news," said Officer Darin Ehrenrich, Tulsa Police Department. "We're all ecstatic. We've been on the phone pretty much back and forth since we got the news," said Officer Darin Ehrenrich, Tulsa Police Department.
Ehrenrich says it has yet to be determined which three cops won't be rehired. He says he and some of his fellow officers are willing to take a pay cut if it means getting all 21 back on the force. Ehrenrich says it has yet to be determined which three cops won't be rehired. He says he and some of his fellow officers are willing to take a pay cut if it means getting all 21 back on the force.

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The city of Tulsa will rehire 18 police officers laid off last week and they will be getting their equipment back on Tuesday afternoon.

Mayor Kathy Taylor learned Monday the U.S. Department of Justice will allow the city to use federal stimulus money to rehire 18 of the 21 officers who were scheduled to be let go on Wednesday.

The city now says instead of losing their job, the officers will be rehired and won't miss a day of pay or benefits.

"This is obviously the outcome we had hoped for," Mayor Taylor said. "I have received numerous calls to the Mayor's Action Center in the last week regarding the layoffs, and many of them have asked me to find a way to avoid laying off our police officers.

"At a time when cities nationwide are having to lay off employees, including police officers, I'm happy to report that these 18 officers will remain on the streets," Mayor Taylor said.

Twenty-one police officers were laid off October 27 in response to the ongoing economic downturn facing Tulsa and the nation. Those layoffs were to become effective November 4.

10/27/2009  Related Story: Thirty-Seven Tulsa City Employees Get Pink Slips

One of the affected officers says this announcement is not completely unexpected, but it's welcome news nonetheless.

"I don't think any of us goes here for the money. I don't think anyone goes into this job to get rich. But there's brothers and sisters behind me that have mortgages, have children, have families, and you know, my heart goes out to them," Darin Ehrenrich said on October 27 after being laid off.

Ehrenrich had just found out that he and 20 other young officers were laid off as part of $6 million in budget cuts. This week, that dejection quickly turned into elation.

"We're all ecstatic. We've been on the phone pretty much back and forth since we got the news," said Officer Darin Ehrenrich, Tulsa Police Department.

Immediately after the cuts were announced, so was the possibility of using stimulus money to rehire most of the officers. On Monday afternoon, the city made it official. It will tap $3.5 million in stimulus funds to put the cops back on the streets.

For Ehrenrich, who has always wanted to be a police officer, it ended a week of agony.

"Just stressful in the sense that you don't know what's coming. This is where you grew up, this is where you want to be, where you want to live, where you want to retire. This is the city you want to serve," said Officer Ehrenrich.

While excited, he says he will now turn his focus to getting all of his fellow officers back to work.

"It's a happy day for 18 of us, but we still have to do whatever we can, do our part, to make sure those other three get hired," said Officer Ehrenrich.

Ehrenrich says it has yet to be determined which three police officers won't be rehired. He says he and some of his fellow officers are willing to take a pay cut if it means getting all 21 back on the force.

 

 

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