Re-Hiring Tulsa Officers Laid Off

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Updated: 1/25/2010 10:18 pm Published: 1/25/2010 9:36 pm

Tulsa’s mayor is leaving it in the hands of the Tulsa police officers to save 155 officers’ jobs.

Monday, Mayor Dewey Bartlett submitted what he calls his final offer to the police department and the local Fraternal Order of Police.

The plan calls for a 5.2% pay cut, eight furlough days (64 hours) and eliminating the Satisfactory Pay Increase (SPI).

Other changes include shifting officers from ten-hour shifts, four days a week, to eight hour shifts and five days a week.

The plan also calls for re-hiring the three officers who former Mayor Kathy Taylor laid off last fall.

FOX23’s Abbie Alford spoke to Brad Blackwell who worked third shift in the Gilcrease Division for only a couple of weeks before getting laid off.

Reality hit for Blackwell when 155 police officers were given their pink slips last Friday.

"On Friday when they gave those guys those pink slips. It was like getting mine again," says Blackwell. "I talked to my wife and I said it looks like we need to move on because it doesn't look I am going to come back."

However, Blackwell who’s expecting his first child, a baby girl next month, has a chance of getting his Tulsa Police badge back.

Under the mayor’s latest plan it calls for using federal funds to rehire Blackwell and the two other officers laid off last fall.

"Right now I am just treading water waiting to see what happens," says Blackwell.

However, waiting is what Blackwell has done since he was laid off last November.

"Everybody was positive 'we're going to get you back, we're going to get you back, we're working to get you back. We are pretty positive that we were going to get our jobs back,'" says Blackwell.

So Blackwell took a temporary job with the city has an officer for the Tulsa Airport Authority.

Still he’s cautiously holding out hope to get back in a Tulsa police cruiser.

"It's exciting I am definitely happy about if they can save 155 jobs where mine comes back or not that's still good," says Blackwell.

However, if this mayor has it his way it’s up to his fellow officer to take the cut to help bring his job back with a union vote.

"I am not going to sit there and be mad or blame I don't think anyone of them would blame if they don't take the pay cut. When it comes to pension it's a rough topic," says Blackwell.

Blackwell says if he can’t get re-hired with TPD he’s looking at law enforcement jobs in the Tulsa metro area and in Texas.

Another officer laid off took a job with the Tulsa Public Schools Police Department and the other officer went back to school.

The local FOPis expected to meet tomorrow night for a possible vote on the mayor’s plan. However, the union says it does not like this plan. Last week it offered a plan that would add another $1.1 in savings in overtime.

To view the mayor’s proposal to TPD click on the document attached to this story.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

kindagreywolf - 1/26/2010 2:10 AM
0 Votes
It's just sickening what their doing to these Men. Every-time the news does a story. the Dewman has flipped flopped again.

roadhunter - 1/26/2010 1:24 AM
0 Votes
Abbie, you should have an editor or at least a co-worker proof your stories before posting them. This one is full of grammatical errors. Not nearly as bad as Charli's post below, though. That's for sure!

probergal - 1/25/2010 10:14 PM
0 Votes
You guys & gals feeling like a yo-yo? they let you go ,.. then call you back,, remember if you take the pay cut the City will not get you back to where you are now. they will figure that you have been living on less and you can continue to do so,.

charli2u1 - 1/25/2010 10:00 PM
0 Votes
My thought is this any elected official that excepts a wage that is greater then the Police or Fire department should be ashamed of them selfs. They don't put their life on the day in and day out. You don't have to have a collage degree to be an elected offical just be able to sling more dirt then the other guy!
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