April 4, 2013 - The Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge #93 announced the end of their interviewing process with the 2013 Mayoral candidates. “We are extremely pleased all three candidates, Dewey Bartlett, Bill Christiansen, and Kathy Taylor, participated in the three step process,” said Jessica Caswell, Public Relations/ Political Liaison.
Each candidate attended a personal interview with President Clay Ballenger, Board of Directors Chairmen Mark Secrist and Caswell. “They understood the issues, listened to our concerns and seem open to hearing the rank-in-file’s voice,” said Ballenger.
Each candidate completed a survey that asked questions important to the FOP. More cops on the streets, competitive wages, pensions, negotiations and safety were among the questions in the survey. “We feel each candidate needs to understand the issues facing law enforcement so they may have the best information when taking office,” said Secrist.
Finally, on April 3, each candidate was invited to a forum only open to FOP members and their families. “The FOP is driven from the ground up. As a Sergeant in the Tulsa Police Department (TPD), the officers and FOP members elected me as their president. It is important the members be given an opportunity to ask the candidates what is on their mind,” said Ballenger. “Our members asked respectful, law enforcement related questions. They really made it a point to show these candidates they care about the City of Tulsa and their profession,” said Caswell.
“The whole process was very eye-opening to us all. We are thrilled the candidates understand the importance of law enforcement and want to work with us. We take an oath to die for the people of this city when we become police officers. All we ask from the next Mayor is to be heard,” said Ballenger.
“Over the next few weeks we will continue to gather information and process the information we currently have from the candidates. We hope to make a decision by the beginning of May. All options are currently on the table, whether to endorse, not endorse and when to endorse if we do. We are here to protect and serve the people of Tulsa and we will not take this decision lightly,” said Secrist.