TULSA - At first, it looked as though Local 93 of the Fraternal Order of Police might stay neutral in Tulsa's mayoral race, but after a unanimous floor vote, it decided to endorse former Mayor Kathy Taylor over incumbent Mayor Dewey Bartlett.
KRMG went directly to the FOP to ask about that decision.
Spokeswoman Jessica Caswell said the FOP felt they enjoyed much better communication under Taylor's administration.
"She had much more of an open-door policy with not only the FOP, but we've heard from many other city employee groups that she was much more open with them, that she was more fair with them," she said.
Fairness also came up often in the conversation.
"When she gave furlough days, she gave furlough days to everybody. She gave us all the same, and I can't say the same for the current administration."
She said the FOP membership just feels they had a better relationship with Taylor when she was mayor.
"Not that always she gave us everything that we wanted," Caswell said, "but she was very open and she was up front with us the entire time she was mayor."
Caswell didn't deny that money is a factor in the equation.
"Our officers are 13% down in wages from the comparison cities, and Kathy thinks that it's really important to get our officers up to par with other cities our size."
She said other factors make it important to bring officers' pay in line with other communities.
"We are the only department in Oklahoma that requires a bachelor degree, and only a handful in the United States, so most of our recruits and our beginning officers come in with college debt."
And Caswell confirmed that the decision to endorse Taylor didn't involve a close contest.
"We had a vote on our floor at one of our meetings...like other organizations do. And it was a unanimous vote on our floor."
Friday, the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 176 will launch a "bus blitz" to support the Taylor campaign.
The IAFF announced its endorsement of Taylor in May.