|Updated: 10/03/2013 5:40 pm
||Published: 10/03/2013 3:40 pm
FOX23 has found police officers' paychecks are taking center stage in the fight to be Tulsa mayor.
Tonight, the city's first responders are unanimously backing candidate Kathy Taylor.
In a news conference Thursday, Taylor handed out fliers about "Getting Back To Basics" as she laid out her plan to work for a safer Tulsa.
It came a day after the Fraternal Order of Police announced endorsement of her. The local firefighter union already endorsed Taylor as well.
The latest announcement prompted Bartlett's campaign to tweet: "Looks like I'm 0 and 3 with labor union endorsements, #ohwell."
"It's a promise that our department has made to our officers and the city has made to the officers," said FOP Jessica Caswell.
She said it's a promise that isn't being kept. She said every year officers have an evaluation. If their performance is satisfactory, they get a pay raise.
"Right now our mayor not only didn't budget for it, but Kathy Taylor budgeted for it every time she was mayor, and our mayor does not want to give us our budget increases," she said.
The FOP wasn't sure its members would endorse anyone, according to Ron Bartmier.
But after a lengthy process, he says the choice was easy because Taylor was always fair and easy to work with.
"I can't really say the same about the current administration. It's more my way or the highway," said Bartmier.
FOX23 asked Bartlett about allegations of shutting officers out and backtracking on contractual agreements.
He said the FOP thinks they can make a better deal with Taylor.
"But from my perspective, I represent the people of Tulsa and I want to make a fair deal," he said.
He said Taylor's spending policies as mayor caused the city to actually layoff officers.
"While she was mayor she did lay off officers, she turned off the lights, cut back a lot of things, sold the horses even and then she quit," he said.
He said he would like to add police officers and also focus on public safety, like Taylor.
"My plan is to put more police in our neighborhoods, use smart technology to keep us safer and aggressively crack down on the rise we're seeing on violent crime," he said.