Tulsa Citizens Suggest Fundraising Ideas To Avoid Police Layoffs
By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Several viewers have emailed The News On 6 with ideas on how citizens can help avoid layoffs.
The News On 6 sent those ideas to Tulsa's police chief who says he has seen an outpouring of support from the public.
The ideas include pennies for police, adopt-a-cop programs, bake sales and even selling advertising on police cars.
The ideas have come from seven-year-olds to 80-year-olds.
All of the letters and phone calls come through Police Captain Rick Helberg, whose son just happened to be laid off in the fall.
One person suggested kettles for donations, like the Salvation Army. Another idea was selling ad space on police cars, similar to NASCAR.
A senior citizen suggested every person send in a dollar.
One person sent a penny in favor of a sales tax raise and one man suggested an adopt-a-cop program. He says if just 20% of the city's 600,000 citizens gave $5 a month, it would equal $7 million in one year.
Other ideas include car washes and bake sales.
"There's apparently not a church in town that has not been bailed out by a bake sale. Hundreds of offers for bake sales," Helberg said.
Someone suggested renting out the mounted patrol for kids' birthday parties and even officers giving Christmas light tours in patrol cars.
"Our favorite is from a seven-year-old girl. Her name is Caylee and her plan is two-fold. She sent us artwork called Caylee's heart and it says keep the protection, keep the change," Helberg said.
"The red represents fire, blue represents police and the white is the angels who watch over them when they do their jobs," Caylee said.
Caylee says it made her sad to think police officers and firefighters might be fired, so she wanted to help and figured lots of people get change when they shop.
"Well, you could go to the store, they give you back change and you say keep it and it goes straight to where they want it," Caylee said.
She also suggested kids sell copies of the heart for a dollar, so even they can help.
Racing Limos says they are going to donate a portion of every limo fee to the police and fire unions.
Another man told The News On 6 he will give up his tax refund, and urges others to do the same.
Private citizens do help fund other city agencies, like the Park Friends and Zoo Friends.
The Tulsa Police Foundation donated $400,000 to buy patrol rifles for Tulsa police officers a few years ago, so there is an avenue to donate.
When The News On 6 asked the mayor about these ideas, he said he was open to them, but he felt they were only a short-term solution to a long-term problem.
You can make donations to the Tulsa Police Foundation at:
Tulsa Police Foundation
P.O. Box 701201
Tulsa, OK 74105