Tulsa's Police Union Approves New Contract

Friday, June 18th 2010, 4:51 pm
By: News On 6


TULSA, OK -- The Fraternal Order of Police overwhelmingly approved a new contract Friday evening.

The News On 6 has learned the contract passed with 95% of the vote. Nearly 300 officers cast their ballots over a 24-hour period.

"The FOP is excited to announce that our membership has overwhelmingly voted to accept the city's latest contract proposal," said Laurel Ledbetter, Fraternal Order of Police.

The new contract will allow the city of Tulsa to rehire officers who had been laid off in January.

The contract did call for several concessions. It reduces the amount of comp time officers can stockpile and it limits when that comp time can be taken. That way the department won't have to pay extra officers overtime to fill the gaps. And officers who live outside the city limits will still be banned from driving their squad cars home.

But union representatives say this contract represents a good balance between the needs of the city and the interests of officers, and they're ready to move forward.

"It's been very important, it's been a priority for the FOP for the members of the police department to come to a resolution," Ledbetter said. "And get this behind us so we can get back to the business of police work."

"They have taken some concessions and helped the city help balance our budget and I am real glad its over," said Chief Chuck Jordan, Tulsa Police.

Chief Chuck Jordan says this means they will welcome dozens of officers back to the force and he says the boost in manpower is something the citizens will feel on the streets.

"The biggest thing is we can engage in proactive policing again," Jordan said. "Crime rates don't drop by themselves, its because of something that was done in previous months."

The new contract will take effect July 1.

The Fraternal Order of Police says the first round of rehired officers will be back on the streets by July 15th.

6/17/2010 Related Story: Tulsa Police's Union Voting On New Contract For The Next Fiscal Year