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Tulsa Mayor Proposes More Funding For Police At Neighborhood Meeting

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Monday night was the first of several City Hall in your Neighborhood Meetings. Monday night was the first of several City Hall in your Neighborhood Meetings.
Mayor Dewey Bartlett is proposing additional funding for more police and firefighters. Mayor Dewey Bartlett is proposing additional funding for more police and firefighters.
City of Tulsa residents listen at the first neighborhood meeting. City of Tulsa residents listen at the first neighborhood meeting.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa's mayor says a proposal for more funding for police would help efforts to catch man who's sexually assaulted eight women in the last several weeks. The mayor's proposal was revealed Monday night at the first of several city neighborhood meetings.

The first meeting was held at the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Tulsa, hosted by Mayor Dewey Bartlett and District 4 Councilor Blake Ewing.

Bartlett wants to pay for more officers using an existing sales tax. He's asking for dedicated funds for more police and firefighters.

Bartlett says he hopes to hire more than 70 officers and 30 firefighters with this additional money.

Bartlett wants to use 2/10s of an existing 1 cent sales tax to hire more police and firefighters. He says this would redirect $14 million for public safety improvements. 

He says the funds would help the Police Department reinstate street crimes units and task forces and crack down on crime. Right now, a task force is working around the clock looking for man who has sexually assaulted eight women.

6/10/2014 Related Story: Mayor, City Councilors Schedule 'In Your Neighborhood' Meetings

The mayor says his proposal would restore police staffing levels that would allow for special task forces to hunt down criminals like this serial rapist.

"The chief of police will be able to reallocate existing resources without paying huge amounts of overtime to task forces like this that work, and they work real well," said Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett.

The mayor said it would also help with inflated overtime costs.

"There's 50 people out there today and tonight and tomorrow and the next day till this guy is caught and arrested and put in jail," Bartlett said. "It's going to cost us a lot of overtime. We can avoid a lot of that by having another way to hire an extra 75 police officers in the next few years."

Special Coverage: Tulsa Sexual Assaults Investigations

Residents in attendance of the first city neighborhood meeting support more funding for police and fire.

"I'm for it. I definitely think we can handle more tax to meet the desired improvements of the city," said Tulsan George Lewis.

"Absolutely I do," said JoAnne Lewis. "In fact, more tax is OK to get the things done to keep our city vital."

The neighborhood meeting next week is at the TCC Performing Arts Center on 81st Street.

Here's the schedule for upcoming City Hall In Your Neighborhood meetings. All meetings begin at 6 p.m. and end between 7:30 and 8 p.m.

  • July 7: Districts 7 and 8 - Tulsa Community College Southeast Campus Performing Arts Center for Education, 10300 E. 81st St.
  • July 8: Districts 5 and 6 - Garnett Assembly of God, 2930 S. Garnett Road
  • July 28: Districts 1 and 3 - Rudisill Regional Library (Library Hall), 1520 N. Hartford Ave.
  • Aug. 4: Districts 2 and 9 - Jewish Federation of Tulsa, 2021 E. 71st St.

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