Tulsa Mayor Says Laid Off Police Officers To Be Rehired Next Month

Tuesday, June 15th 2010, 11:19 am
By: News On 6


TULSA, OK -- Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett announced Tuesday morning that all laid-off police officers will be rehired by mid-July.

Mayor Bartlett made the announcement at the city council meetings Tuesday morning at city hall. 

Dewey Bartlett said that all available laid-off Tulsa Police officers will be rehired by mid-July and the City of Tulsa will even consider a police academy in 2011.

6/2/2010 Related story: Mayor: Tulsa Police Retirements Won't Lead to Immediate Hirebacks

Bartlett said because of recent retirements in the police department, some slots have opened up to rehire officers.

He said 50 police officers have retired or separated from the department for other reasons and the cost savings from those high ranking officers leaving equals the salary for 59 low ranking officers who can be rehired.

Because of other savings, Bartlett said the balance of the 90 officers who remain off work can be rehired with available funds in the new budget.

The Mayor assured the City Council the money will be there.

"With our current financial situation, we'll also be able to send out notices to the balance of the 92 who were laid off as a result of the union vote that occurred earlier this year," he said.

The plan is to hire back all available police officers on July 16th.

Police Chief Chuck Jordan said that would be the earliest practical date for the hire backs, because of the paperwork involved.

"We will still be lower than we would like to be, but we will certainly be above where we were in January when we had to lay these officers off," he said.

The new budget year starts July 1 and July 16th starts the second pay period of the year.

At the same time, Bartlett urged the council to not forget firefighters who took pay cuts rather than force layoffs and the lower paid non sworn employees who had eight furlough days.

"We've taken care of the police department" said Mayor Bartlett, "We cannot turn our backs on the fire department. They made a tough decision and we owe it to them. We must support the fire department."

Restoring the voluntary salary cuts taken by firefighters would cost the city $2.4 million per year.

"We should not leave this room without also making a commitment to the firefighters. We must do whatever we can to agree to some of the revenue enhancements and come up with a series of revenue enhancements that will allow us to return the 5.2% salary reduction that they took," said Mayor Bartlett.

The salary bumps for firefighters and other employees depend on those "revenue enhancements" the mayor is promoting, in particular the $5 monthly fee for fire service.