Police Union Endorses Bynum After Tulsa Mayoral Debate

Wednesday, May 18th 2016, 10:12 pm
By: Emory Bryan

The police union is an important force in politics but until Wednesday the members had not endorsed a candidate for mayor.

The FOP had donated money to GT. Bynum, and now by endorsing him that's likely to continue.

The forum cleared up their decision with a discussion that focused mainly on support for the department.

"So again it gets back to funding," stated Mayor Dewey Bartlett

Bartlett has a rocky track record with the police. It started with a layoff right after he took office and was dealing with a budget in crisis.

“It was a difficult time,” said Bartlett. “Had to do it because the previous administration and the city council didn't understand the significance of the problem.”

Bynum jumped on that history and criticized the mayor for not doing more to increase salaries for officers.

"We're not funding our pay and benefits at the level they need to be," he argued.

Bartlett fired back by claiming credit for steering the recently approved permanent tax for public safety.

“I've consistently prioritized public safety during my time on the city council while the mayor has not prioritized it during his time in office,” said Bynum.

The group that was undecided before got their questions answered and came down on the side of Bynum.

It was very important to our officers to get all those questions in and directly address how the public safety tax dollars are going to be spent," said Police PAC ChairJerad Lindsey.

Both candidates have agreed to more debates, including two this Friday.