City Lays Off 37, Cuts Budget

The City of Tulsa, blaming steep October sales tax declines, will lay off 37 police and city workers this week as the city attempts to cut its budget another $6 million.
A decline in sales and use tax reported for October triggered this second set of reductions in the General Fund, the city said in a statement. The current round of budget cuts follows a $10 million reduction in July when the budget went into effect.
The police department will lose 21 officers and $2 million of its budget.
Both the Police and Fire Departments will eliminate spring academies, saving nearly $700,000 in general fund spending, and will delay equipment purchases, eliminating certain specialized allowances and continuing to manage overtime, the city said in a statement. However, TPD will retain 18 officers by using the $3.5 million federal stimulus grant.
“Application has already been made to the Department of Justice. Public safety will not be jeopardized and the vital core services our citizens rightfully expect will not be interrupted,” said Mayor Kathy Taylor. In addition, to the 18 officers expected to be re-hired, nine officers in specialty assignments will be assigned to patrol.
Although 16 other positions will be eliminated across several departments, half of those workers could be shifted to vacant positions.

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