“Safety Course: Starter gun sounded on police budgeting” (Our Views, April 30) grossly misrepresented the position of the Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police. You quoted me as saying we need a MAPS-style tax to fund the hiring of more police officers. Not only have I never called for such a tax, I specifically advocated the opposite action, promoting the idea of a permanently dedicated funding source for the hiring and retention of the officers we so desperately need.
Your statement that “George seems to think that a MAPS-style tax is needed to truly boost the department's numbers” is inaccurate and irresponsible. The Oklahoma City FOP has carefully and deliberately worked with reporters throughout Oklahoma City to clarify our message to the public. For the past six months, the FOP and I have made a great effort to build relationships with the TV and print media. I have been very open, honest and available. Your own reporters will confirm this.
It bothers me that The Oklahoman's editorial staff doesn't show the same due diligence in fact-checking and source-verification as its reporters. I hope you will give this response a prominent space in your paper so you can take the first step in mitigating the damage you have caused to our efforts to improve public safety in Oklahoma City.
John George, Oklahoma City
George is president of the Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police