OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Oklahoma City Police Department is responding to a grievance that was filed by the Fraternal Order of Police regarding manpower concerns.
The FOP says the grievance was filed after the order obtained records that “revealed that patrol shifts in the Operations Bureau of the Department have functioned below minimum staffing on over thirty occasions from March 2nd through April 2, 2017.”
“The failure to maintain minimum staffing has occurred on almost every shift, if not all, at every Division. Failure to maintain minimum staffing for officers on patrol is not only an unsafe condition for the officers and citizens but it also violates the Departmental directive designed to avoid that problem,” the a letter from the FOP to Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty read.
On Monday afternoon, the police department held a news conference regarding the grievance, saying their hands are tied.
Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty says manpower is an issue, but there are no viable solutions as city funding continues to drop.
Citty says that a recent study shows that the police department reached the minimum staffing levels 92 percent of the time over the past month.
“Minimum staffing is an ongoing issue with the FOP,” Citty said. “We’ve discussed it for years.”
However, he said that the department “can’t always meet minimum staffing” levels because of personnel issues, sick leave and vacations.
“The one thing the FOP and this office is in agreement with is that we need to add more officers,” Citty said.
Citty says budget restrictions have caused 48 positions to be frozen.
“There’s going to have to be a way to fund operations of the city, not just police, not just fire, but public works and everything. The city cannot continue to function the way it does just based on sales tax,” Citty said.