NewsOn6.com & Chris Wright, The News On 6
TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- The City of Tulsa has accepted a federal grant awarded to the Tulsa Police Department, Mayor Dewey Bartlett and Police Chief Chuck Jordan said Tuesday.
Most of the $4.5 million grant, called the COPS Grant, will be used to hire 23 new officers for three years. The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Justice.
But it comes with a catch. The grant will pay for the salaries of the officers for three years.The city must cover the fourth and final year. After spending most of his time in office slashing budgets, Mayor Bartlett believes the added expense won't be a problem.
"We think that it's a good decision," he said. "That it should not have very much risk with the decision as far as being in a position where we can't afford it."
Mayor Bartlett also announced Tuesday there will be a police academy beginning in January of 2011. There was no academy in 2010 due to budget cuts.
"The 23 officers that will be hired will be part of that academy," Bartlett said.
Bartlett said the city will be providing funding for seven additional officers to participate in the academy, for a total of 30 new police officers. He said the academy would take about nine months to complete.
Bartlett praised Police Chief Chuck Jordan for the way he had handled expenses in the police department.
"What we are seeing now are the results of good management practices," he said.
"This is a really good day for our community for the police department," Chief Jordan said. "This will help keep us at levels that we can maintain the level of service we want to keep for our citizens."
Tulsa was not the only city in Green Country awarded a COPS grant. Sand Springs received $300,000.