After much debate, Tulsa Police last night voted to approve a new contract with the city. Budget cuts mean each officer must now take eight unpaid days off. With the unpaid days now an unfortunate reality for the TPD, and some officers are already looking for extra work just to make ends meet.
Moonlighting is nothing new for Tulsa police officers. When he's not patrolling the streets, Corporal Dan Miller spends an additional 16 hours a week keeping Channel Six safe.
"I think we've all accepted the fact that we have to take care of our families," said Corporal Dan Miller. "You do what you have to do. If that means working extra jobs, overtime with the police department, you do what you have to do."
"Being a police officer is probably one of the most underpaid jobs there are," said Travis Carrner of Anvis Protective Resources.
After spending more than a decade heading Tulsa County's SWAT team, Travis Cartner, along with his wife, founded a private security firm two years ago. Anvis Resources provides security for apartments, businesses, and neighborhoods.
The firm even has its own K-9 unit, only employs off-duty officers, and says the furloughs are unfortunate.
"It breaks my heart because they work really hard, and they are really good at what they do, and it really, they don't get paid enough as it is," said Angela Cartner of Anvis Protective Resources.
The Cartners say some of those affected are already inquiring about extra work. They say since talk of furloughs began, hits on their website have doubled, and they've gotten a bunch of calls since the union approved the new contract Wednesday night.
"Our door is open, they can come and apply with us, and we can put them to work," Angela Cartner said.
While he admits the furloughs will likely benefit his business, Travis Cartner hopes his company can at least soften the blow for struggling officers.
"Obviously if we can help a fellow police officer out, then we're going to make that happen by any means possible," Travis Cartner said.
Anvis plans on hiring about 10 more officers. Moonlighting can be pretty lucrative for police. Anvis says it pays its officers as much as 30 dollars an hour.