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Oklahoma City police get creative to keep jobs

Oklahoma City saves seven police positions using federal funds.
By Bryan Dean Published: August 22, 2010
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Like most other large metro areas in the country, Oklahoma City faced some tough budget numbers recently that forced cuts in most departments, including police.

City leaders spared police and fire the worst cuts, but Police Chief Bill Citty still had to find places to cut costs. His solution was to cut 22 jobs, including the city's participation in Oklahoma County's drug court and two officers in an undercover drug program.

Fortunately, Citty found a way to save seven of those 22 jobs using about $500,000 in federal stimulus money.

"There were several things that were strictly equipment amounting to about $500,000," Citty said. "Looking at that, those funds would also allow us to hire personnel or recover those personnel being cut."

If the city's sales tax revenue doesn't improve before next summer, the jobs would be back on the chopping block again next year. The positions that were to be cut were vacant, meaning no officers would have been laid off.

Among the positions being saved is a liaison with the Oklahoma County Drug Court, a decision which pleased Ward 4 Councilman Pete White.

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