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Mayor Seeks Sheriff's Help With City Patrols

Mayor Seeks Sheriff's Help With City Patrols

Tulsa World via YellowBrix

December 17, 2009

TULSA, OK – Mayor Dewey Bartlett has asked the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office to submit a proposal on how it would patrol part of the city as Tulsa braces for more police layoffs, he said Wednesday.

“If it looks like we’re going to find ourselves short of police officers, we want to have a good option available so public safety is not compromised,” he said.

Sheriff Stanley Glanz and Undersheriff Brian Edwards have agreed to devise a plan for deputies to be responsible for an area that has yet to be determined. Reserve deputies also would be available.

“We’ll do whatever we can to help the city, because we serve the same citizens,” Edwards said.

Meanwhile, more than 300 police union members met Wednesday night to see what they could do to prevent as many officer layoffs as possible. Among the ideas discussed was giving up the right to take patrol vehicles to their homes outside the city limits.

Union President Phil Evans said the meeting was one of the best attended, adding that “there’s a lot of concerns among the officers about their jobs and the impact this is going to have on Tulsa.”

Ryan Perkins, a trustee of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 93, said the worst budget scenario would cut between 54 and 123 officers from the roughly 808-officer force.

Bartlett said the size of the patrol area to be covered by deputies would depend on the severity of the Police Department cuts. That number remains unknown.

Also to be worked out is how the Sheriff’s Office would be paid for the patrols, Bartlett said. The city might have services it can trade.

“Obviously, we have to see a cost savings,” he said.

Bartlett is looking at as much as $10 million in city budget cuts because of plummeting sales-tax revenue.

The head of each city department has been asked to turn in plans by the end of Friday for a budget reduction of as much as 4.4 percent. For the Police Department, that would be $3.4 million.

No cuts will take place before the end of the year, Bartlett said, noting that it will take at least a few weeks to review thoroughly all of the reduction plans and decide the best course of action.

The size of the city’s January sales-tax check from the Oklahoma Tax Commission will help determine how deep any cuts must be, Bartlett said.

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