City Councilors Want To End Tulsa Police Take-Home Car Policy - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

City Councilors Want To End Tulsa Police Take-Home Car Policy

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City and Fraternal Order of Police attorneys expressed opinions on whether the Council can end the police policy without contract negotiations. City and Fraternal Order of Police attorneys expressed opinions on whether the Council can end the police policy without contract negotiations.
Officers have been able to take squad cars home since 2005, if they live within 25 miles of their jobs. Officers have been able to take squad cars home since 2005, if they live within 25 miles of their jobs.
The change would amount to a 6% pay cut to about half the police officers, according to an FOP spokesperson. The change would amount to a 6% pay cut to about half the police officers, according to an FOP spokesperson.

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The Tulsa City council continues to press for Tulsa Police officers to give up the benefit of take-home cars.

The controversy is likely to be sticking point in the next FOP contract talks.

The issue boiled down Thursday night to the council being told they certainly can't take away the cars until the police contract is up - and they might not be able to do it even then.

The Tulsa City Council was empowered by a new legal opinion from their lawyer, Drew Rees.

Rees says councilors can influence police union contract talks by taking away their take-home cars. That's in contrast with opinions from other attorneys from the city and the union.

"Until we reach some other kind of resolution, I gotta trust my lawyer," said Rick Westcott, Tulsa City Councilor.

A few police officers watched as councilors talked about taking away a benefit the officers have had since 2005. Police officers can use their cars to commute home up to 25 miles away.

Several city councilors want the practice stopped to save the city an estimated $1 million. An attorney who represents the union told councilors that labor law was well established and clearly doesn't allow city councilors to make rules about union contracts.

"The essence of it is, there's just some things you're not going to be able to do anything about," said Scott Wood, attorney for the Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police.

The take-home car policy is part of the contract that's renegotiated each year with the Fraternal Order of Police.

"They're trying to take away about 6% away from half our employees, without negotiating that through the correct process," said Phillip Evans, Fraternal Order of Police.

Evans said the take-home cars are part of the police raise, so it must be negotiated at the right time and in the right way.

The councilors want the lawyers to come to an agreement - or have it settled by a judge.

As always, when the contract is up next July, city negotiators can ask for anything they want from the FOP.

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