While Tulsa used $3.5 million in federal stimulus aid to rehire police officers, dozens of law enforcement departments and emergency response agencies across Oklahoma used similar funding to upgrade weapons and equipment, says the Tulsa World. Statewide, cities and counties spent nearly $7.7 million of their American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds on everything from patrol vehicles to digital video systems to high-powered guns. Officers said the stimulus money allowed them to buy equipment that they needed but otherwise would not be able to afford; they said hiring officers would create problems in the coming years when the stimulus money runs out and departments might not be able to pay them.
Tulsa is wrestling with how to cover $2.2 million next fiscal year when federal stimulus grant money going toward police officer salaries will be gone. It is part of $18.2 million in one-time funding and higher expenses that the city must make up before July 1.