Campaign crime claims put to the Truth Test - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Campaign crime claims put to the Truth Test

The current political ads from the mayor's race focus on a familiar campaign theme - what
to do about crime. The claims are all about police staffing - but are those claims true?.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan looked at the ads in his Truth Test.

Mayor Bill LaFortune's latest ad is all about public safety, but it's not the police bragging - it's the county sheriff, Stanley Glanz, who makes this claim.

"We have more police now than when Bill took office, and more are on the way," says Glanz in the commercial.

That's true, but there's more to the story. The police department had 793 officers when LaFortune took office. It dipped to only 720 two years later because the police didn't have the budget to hire new officers.

Now it's back up 810 - but only by including the latest group of rookies who hit the streets next month.

Kathy Taylor's latest ad takes advantage of that - and goes a step further.

Her commercial says, "Bill LaFortune went two years without hiring a single police officer, yet increased his staff by almost 50%."

The ad refers to a newspaper article where a city councilor makes that claim, but we checked and the city budget director says the size of the mayor's staff hasn't changed, and the payroll has only slightly increased over the last four years.

The mayor is allowed to appoint up to 16 employees. LaFortune currently has 14 on staff, with a payroll, including his own and all benefits, of $1 million.

"Bill LaFortune promised to make Tulsa America's safest city," says Taylor's ad. "That didn't happen."

That claim is true.

LaFortune made the statement before the election - and no one can dispute it was a campaign promise that didn't come true.
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