Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Oklahoma City's 2018-19 budget adds 81 police officers and 39 firefighters, making good on a promise to strengthen the ranks in exchange for a ‘yes' vote on a quarter-cent sales tax increase.
It will be several years, though, before all the new positions can be filled.
Eight consecutive months of sales tax gains and an optimistic budget outlook — plus voter approval of the sales tax increase — cleared obstacles to adding police officers and firefighters.
"It's certainly good news," said Mark Nelson, vice president of Oklahoma City's Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 123.
When city council members agreed in June to ask voters for a quarter-cent sales tax increase, they promised to restore funding for 69 "frozen" public safety positions.