Safer Streets, Better OKC
Concerns about street conditions have been at the top of OKC's citizen surveys for years. Now, we have a chance to not only improve the condition of our streets, but also invest in our community's public sports/arts facilities, improve our parks, provide for a better public transit system, alleviate drainage issues, provide funds for more police officers, fire fighters, and job-creating economic / community development programs -- in short, to make a safer, better OKC.
Oklahoma City’s population is increasing, but the number of police offers responding to 911 calls is not. In 1993, OKCPD had 605 patrol officers on its force, but today that number is only 618. Despite Oklahoma City’s population growing by more than 200,000 in that time, the number of men and women responding to 911 calls has not increased to meet the growing need.
The department is often understaffed. In March 2017, there were not enough officers on a shift more than 30 times. Because of that, it takes an average of 8 minutes for officers to respond to high-priority 911 calls. The 2012 staffing study showed new positions are needed.
Voting YES on Sept. 12 will permanently invest $26 million annually in hiring and training new officers, adding 129 police officers to our streets, a move that will keep every resident safe.
Additionally, plans are to hire 57 firefighters, replacing 15 positions that have been previously eliminated due to reduced revenue, and 42 positions to staff new stations funded by the 2007 bond issue.
Overall, this plan will help restore recent cutbacks to public safety and other critical services that have been eliminated as declining sales tax revenue has not kept pace with population growth in recent years.
The data doesn’t lie – Oklahoma City roads are in need of repair. According to TRIP, a national transportation research group, 79 percent of major roads in the Oklahoma City area are in poor or mediocre condition. This is an issue that costs Oklahoma City residents $2,175 in extra vehicle operating costs each year, including $832 in vehicle depreciation, repairs and tire wear.
The Sept. 12 election directly combats these concerns, investing more than $847 million in improving Oklahoma City’s streets, bridges, drainage and traffic control. Yes all 15 to make sure to keep traffic – and your car – running smoothly.
Economic development efforts as a result of the 2007 bond issue election have helped create more than 4,200 good-paying jobs in Oklahoma City. Companies who have used the fund have invested an estimated amount of $929 million in capital investments within Oklahoma City. In addition, other portions of the bond issue will take care of critical needs like drainage control, needed park improvements, and maintenance of city buildings like libraries, city office buildings, the central maintenance facility and others. Improvements to our public transit system help reduce traffic congestion, pollution and road wear and help our economy.
Vote YES on September 12 to build a safer, better Oklahoma City.