Mayor Turner looking at options to raise $90 million in order to pay for additional police staffing

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Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says the city needs more cops, but hasn't decided exactly how to fulfill that need yet. (KTRK)

The mayor said today the number of police on the streets is not enough.

While Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner doesn't have the specifics about how exactly how much money he'll need to fix that, he floated an idea today about how to get it.

Turner echoed the sentiments of his police chief, Art Acevedo, during the State of the City address today: Houston needs more police.

While Acevedo has suggested for months the city might need to go to taxpayers, Turner said Tuesday it's among his top ideas.

He proposed raising the amount of money the city can legally collect to hire at least 500 or 600 new officers. It could take an excess of $90 million.

"Most people would agree we need additional revenue," Turner said. "It's not just about cutting costs. Because we need, and this is for public safety, for law enforcement purposes only. Not talking about anything else other than public safety."

WATCH: Highlights from Turner's 2018 State of the City address
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Lifting the revenue cap to pay for more police was one of the issues the Mayor brought up in his State of the City speech

Chief Acevedo told Eyewitness News in January the city needed to figure out some way to generate more money for police.

"How we get there is going to be up to elected officials," Acevedo said. "Ultimately it's going to be up to our constituents."

We asked some Houstonians their thoughts about paying more for more police. The responses were, as you'd expect, mixed.

"Absolutely. Why? Definitely need to stop crime," resident Matthew Durr said.

"More taxes? No. But I do support the police here in Houston," resident Cameron Wright said.

"Yeah I would," resident Lilia Candanosa said. "Houston is a big city so we do need a lot of cops."

That last point may be the one that sticks. Too few police, at what ultimate price?

"The current construct will not work for us in the long term," Mayor Turner said.

It's an issue that could end up before voters as early as November depending on which route the mayor chooses to take.

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houston police departmentsylvester turnerhouston politicssafetyHouston
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