News 9

STILLWATER, Oklahoma -- Two senior Stillwater police officers found a solution to the budget crunch that would have forced the police chief to fire two recruits.

The Stillwater Police Department was supposed to layoff officers because of budget cuts. But one senior officer, Officer Scott Stookey, announced his retirement and a second officer, Lt. Lloyd Romine, volunteered to have his position reduced to a civilian position and take less money, which saved two jobs.

"It's somewhat of a bittersweet moment in that we lose the services of a veteran officer to retirement, but his action and the action of the second lieutenant who offered to go to a civilian position saved those two officers' jobs," said Stillwater Chief of Police Norman McNickle.

City leaders transferred some general government funds and won't be filling a couple of positions to make up the difference.

Todd Parry, President of the Stillwater Fraternal Order of Police, said although he's pleased no one has to be laid off, this does not solve the understaffing problem. Parry said they have more work to do and plan to address the problems in the near future.