TULSA, Oklahoma - Backers of the Vision tax extension say the public safety component is critical for building up manpower the police and fire departments needs to serve Tulsa's growing population.

The public safety element of the tax would create a new permanent source of money and pay for about 200 new police officers and 65 new firefighters.

For police, the extra manpower would cut down on response time and put enough officers in the field to handle 911 calls and do some proactive work, instead of just running from call to call.

The fire department would be able to staff a new station in east Tulsa and put an extra firefighter on 16 of their busiest trucks.

They said that would speed up what they're able to do.

"And, obviously, when you're talking about fire or an EMS call, a medical emergency, that time we save, those seconds can be the difference between life and death," said Chad Miller with the Tulsa Firefighters Union.

If the Vision plan passes, it would take at least five years to ramp up public safety staffing to the levels.