The biggest influx of new Oklahoma City police officers in recent memory is included in the proposed city budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
City officials plan to add 12 new patrol officers, three detectives and seven civilian investigators in fiscal year 2013, according to budget documents presented this week to the city council.
The council will study the budget over the next few weeks before voting on it June 12.
A few police officers have been added to the department in recent years — some positions were paid for by federal grants before being absorbed into the city budget — but the number of police officers has remained largely the same for a couple of decades.
Former police chief and current Assistant City Manager M.T. Berry said it's the biggest increase in some time.
Growth created new jobs
During the budget planning process, Police Chief Bill Citty identified areas where he could use more officers, and city officials were able to oblige this year, Berry said. Robust economic growth helped create 85 new jobs citywide in next year's proposed budget.
“We're very happy to be in a position where our finances have allowed us to recommend to the council that these additional officers be added,” Berry said.
“We're still looking at funding sources to increase not only the police department, but the fire department also in future years.”