TULSA, OK -- Tulsa's mayor wants to slash pay to keep jobs and close an almost $10-million-budget shortfall.

Dewey Bartlett met with three unions and thousands of city employees Wednesday.

The mayor says he's scrambling to save jobs. The police union says they need to get back to the bargaining table and the citizens caught in the middle are concerned.

A terrifying emergency with a gunman on the loose really brought home the budget debate over public safety for this woman.

"I cannot be more appreciative today or any day of the emergency response," said Debbie Bradberry, KBEZ Saleswoman. "That's what they're here for and you can't have too many of them. And we're grateful to all of you guys."

Mayor Dewey Bartlett says maintaining public safety means a 7.5% pay cut and hundreds of thousands of dollars in other concessions to balance the budget.

The police union counters the cut will be more like 12%.

What if the unions don't go for the concessions, the pay cuts?

"Well, I hope that they don't do that," Bartlett said.

Mayor Bartlett says he knows this isn't easy but at the end of the day, officers will still have paychecks, health benefits and their pensions.

"What a great thing it is for their families to have the breadwinner still come home with a paycheck. That's what we want. That was our goal from the beginning," Bartlett said.

Still reeling from what seems like a nightmare straight out of the movies, Debbie Bradberry just wants to know the force that safeguarded her and her co-workers this time will be there next time.

"We need to have this kind of force protecting us. Cause on any day, this could be you. and you don't want to be short," Bradberry said.

The police union isn't saying if they will take the pay cuts just that they want to sit down with the mayor and talk it over.

Dewey Bartlett hopes to hear back from the unions by the middle of next week.