Tulsa Police Department Layoffs Cost City More Than $1 Million

Tuesday, June 29th 2010, 1:10 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News on 6

TULSA, OK -- The layoff and pending rehire of Tulsa Police Department officers earlier this year has cost the City of Tulsa more than $1 million, city councilors said Tuesday.

The total reflects the cost of severance and investment in training for officers who are not returning to the force.

Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan told the Tulsa City Council, the city has 668 officers on the force right now and "somewhere between 75 and 80" of the 89 who remain laid off will be returning.  Chief Jordan said the remaining officers either have taken other jobs or won't be returning for a variety of reasons.

"Basically they've gotten jobs at other places, they applied at other police departments, some have gone into other professions, people have moved on," Jordan said.

The City of Tulsa spends $80,000 to recruit and train each police officer. For each officer who goes somewhere else, that's money lost, on top of the severance and benefits paid out during the layoff.

"So if you multiply $80,000 by a minimum of 9, that's $720,000 that we had invested in those officers we are now losing, because when we replace those officers, we've got to turn around and spend another $80,000," Bill Christiansen, Tulsa City Councilor, said.

Not all of the officers will go back on the force July 16. They're undergoing physicals and re qualifying on the gun range. Because of all the paperwork, they'll come back in two groups, with the second round on August 2. 

The department still wants to academy class next spring, if the city can afford it.  The loss of close to a million dollars because of the layoff won't help reach that goal.

"If more of them decide not to come back, that figure just keeps going up and up," said Chris Trail, Tulsa City Councilor. "And we're going to have to eventually come up with that to replace the cops."

But Chief Jordan prefers to focus on the ones who are coming back.

"They're very committed individuals and that's what I want in my police department," he said.

Related stories:
6/24/2010  Tulsa Police Union Offers Compromise On New Term Limit Policy
6/18/2010  Tulsa's Police Union Approves New Contract
6/15/2010  Tulsa Mayor Says Laid Off Police Officers To Be Rehired Next Month
6/8/2010   Tulsa Police Department Down More Than 150 Officers