OKC needs more officers, police study says

by William Crum Modified: December 18, 2013 at 5:00 pm •  Published: December 17, 2013

Oklahoma City needs authority to hire 195 more officers to reach its “desired” level of police protection, according to an updated staffing study presented to the city council on Tuesday.

Training, hiring and equipping that many new officers would add nearly $21 million to the $197 million annual police department budget after five years.

The police department's “desired” level of service includes responding to the highest priority calls — when someone's life may be at risk — in 9 and a half minutes or less, 90 percent of the time.

Chief Bill Citty said the department now hits that goal about 70 percent of the time.

The police department is budgeted for 1,116 officers, though there are only about 1,000 officers on the streets. The city is adding about 40 officers per year through its training academy.

The study projects the department needs 1,311 officers.

Besides improved response times, the department expects reaching its desired level of service would improve staffing at the busiest times — Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

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by William Crum
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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