Oklahoma City would add 40 police officers under record $1 billion budget

Oklahoma City's proposed budget exceeds $1 billion for first time and would include adding 40 police officers under a new proposal.
BY WILLIAM CRUM wcrum@opubco.com Modified: April 30, 2013 at 8:18 pm •  Published: April 30, 2013

More could be added to the ranks of bus drivers by the public transit system, said Doug Dowler, the city budget director.

City Manager James Couch said in his budget summary that low unemployment, strong business growth and a renewed sense of civic pride were helping Oklahoma City move ahead as other cities continue to feel effects of the recession.

Couch said the city expects growth to slow in the coming year due to federal cutbacks in response to the sequester.

In the most recent reporting period, sales tax collections fell in late February and early March. It was Oklahoma City's first year-over-year decline in 18 months.

The sales tax is the city's single largest source of revenue.

Public review planned

The city council's finance committee will review the 663-page budget proposal in a series of public meetings between now and mid-June, when the budget will be adopted.

The presentation on the police budget will be next Tuesday. Utilities, including water service, will be discussed May 21. Airports, public transit and the fire department will be discussed June 4.