Public Safety Task Force Holds First Meeting

Aug 21, 2014

Credit KWGS News

Tulsa’s public safety task force met for the first time Thursday morning at city hall.

Its goal is to find a way to pay for safety needs from more cops to street improvements. The task force plans to hear from representatives of the police, fire and streets departments; working in neighborhoods; the 9-1-1 call center and EMSA.

Members looked at a few dozen recommendations from past task forces, and current Chair Karen Gilbert said those groups did a lot of work on peripheral issues.

"But now it's time to get to the heart of it and find out exactly what can we do to make sure that all of those departments are funded properly to keep our city safe," Gilbert said.

Mayor Dewey Bartlett suggests using part of the six-tenths of a penny Vision 2025 sales tax expiring in 2016.

"I and the council have talked about — for street maintenance purposes, street striping, sidewalks, this sort of thing — I think that can all still fall under the two-tenths of a penny," Bartlett said. "But if I'm incorrect, we're not stuck on any particular amount yet, so we can broaden that suggestion."

The task force will likely meet five more times this year. Its next meeting is currently scheduled for Sept. 18.

Bartlett will present his proposal to the task force at its Oct. 23 meeting.