Oklahoma City Police Department needs 200 new officers to meet goal

Oklahoma City Police Department Chief Bill Citty said 200 new patrol officers would allow the department to respond to 911 calls within the desired response time of nine minutes, 30 seconds. Currently this goal isn't always met.
BY OLIVIA INGLE oingle@opubco.com Modified: June 5, 2012 at 9:37 pm •  Published: June 5, 2012
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Ward 1 Councilman Gary Marrs said officers knew what they were getting themselves into when they took the job.

“If you didn't want to put up with a different schedule than the rest of the world, you should have looked somewhere else to be employed,” Marrs said. “We count on public safety to be there 24 hours a day, every day of the year to take care of those services.”

Citty said the 12 new patrol officer positions in the proposed city budget will help staffing, but the department will also try to reorganize patrol shifts. Reorganizing shifts will require negotiations with the police union.

Already, the 12 new officer positions make up $771,000 of the proposed city budget, but Ward 4 Councilman Pete White said the council is committed to increasing the amount of police officers in the city and will come up with the additional money and resources to do so.

“I think we'd like to do that in conjunction with making sure we utilize the people we had and the people we already have to the highest efficiency that we can reach,” White said.

The council will vote on the proposed budget at a June 12 meeting.