Tulsa City Council Approves Budget Adding 61 Positions At TPD - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Tulsa City Council Approves Budget Adding 61 Positions At TPD

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

The city council approved a $711 million budget Thursday that, among other things, will put as many as 61 more police officers on the street. That's 40 more than what the mayor had proposed in his initial budget.

The new budget also comes with funding for two new academies, not just one.

The plan in the budget is to hire 61 new civilians to fill positions held by officers mainly doing desk work. That would put those officers on Tulsa's streets.

Mayor Dewey Bartlett spoke before the council Thursday night, expressing his concerns that the city couldn't sustain that many new officers. He also said the city needs to consider hiring more firefighters.

Bartlett said the city council needs to take into consideration that the healthcare costs for city employees could change in the near future.

4/30/2013 Related Story: Tulsa Mayor's Budget Proposal Includes Water, Sewer Rate Hikes

Still, the measure passed unanimously.

The committee says they reallocated nearly $4 million to help make this happen.

"Well, firstly is to see if we can find the money to have two academies and to get this process going to build our force and make it a safer city," said Councilor David Patrick.

Another proposal likely to pass Thursday is a raise for city councilors. Currently, they make $18,000 a year, but a proposal would bump the councilors' salaries up about 33 percent to $24,000.

In order for that to happen, Tulsa voters will have to approve it. It's expected to be put on the November ballot.

Another thing that passed Thursday night was a 1 percent pay increase for non-sworn city employees.

City Councilor G.T. Bynum said, although it's not much, it is a sign of growth.

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