A proposed $2.9 million increase in funding for Oklahoma City police will help the department get more officers on the streets in the hours when crime peaks, Chief Bill Citty said Tuesday.
Citty reviewed the department's budget for members of the city council. The new money is included in City Manager Jim Couch's spending outline for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
The money eventually will fund positions for 37 officers and three supervisors. Until recruits can be hired and trained, plans are to funnel the money into overtime.
About $500,000 is to be set aside for seven officers who focus on keeping children from skipping school and away from gangs.
Citty noted the near-record 99 homicides in the city last year. A sharp increase in serious assaults that occurred between 2007 and 2008 has not receded, he said.
Serious assaults increased from 2,825 in 2007 to 3,502 in 2008. They have ranged between about 3,600 and 3,800 each year since then.
Crime — and the need for police officers — peaks on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Citty said. Money for overtime will get more officers on the streets on those high-crime days, he said.