According to data from the State Fraternal Order of Police, Tulsa Police Officers are one of the lowest paid departments compared to other departments of their size in Oklahoma.
That comparison shows Tulsa Police Officers are making nearly $10,000 dollars less in base pay than officers in Oklahoma City.
They've gone more than two years without a significant raise, but some say they are working multiple jobs, just to make ends meet.
“We're not paid enough to save enough to have enough to keep going,” said Patrol Officer Jeff Cash.
Jeff Cash is a Patrol Officer with the Tulsa Police Department who has been on the streets for nearly 37 years, but he's nervous about retirement because of the cost of health insurance.
”It can be painful to retire and assume that financial responsibility,” said Cash.
Tulsa Police Officers get around $700 dollars a month to put towards health insurance, compared to some other departments in the state that get almost double that.
“It isn't like because we are policemen we get to pay less at the grocery store or less at the gas pump or less at the power companies,” said Cash. “You know we still have expenses.”
An officer's base pay starts at $46,000 a year. After a decade officers earn around $70,000 as part of incremental increases and additional training.
“We're near the bottom of our survey of comparable cities around the multi-state area, and it's just difficult for my guys it's very disheartening for them,” said Jerad Lindsay, Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police.
The Fraternal Order of Police has been advocating for increases, but Lindsay says it's very difficult to attract top level talent when they can't compete with other department's salaries.
We believe that we have professionals here that serve professionally every day and we just want to compensate them the same way others at similar departments are compensated so that we can attract and maintain and retain the best there is,” said Lindsay.
“You know a lot of people would say, You didn't take this job to make money which is true but I didn't take it to be 20% underpaid either,” said Cash.