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Crime in Tulsa – Summary
Without question, crime is the most prevalent issue on Tulsans’ minds. According to the 2011 Citizen Survey, nearly two out of every five Tulsans feel unsafe walking in their own neighborhood after dark and over half feel unsafe walking in downtown at night. These feelings are not without reason. In the first three months of the year, Tulsa had 14% more robberies than last year, many of which were violent. Additionally, with 51 murders already as of October 2nd, the murder rate is poised to far exceed 2012, underscoring the need for an aggressive plan to reduce Tulsa’s crime rate. It is time to get back the basics of making Tulsa a city where people feel safe. Kathy Taylor will take a coordinated approach to fighting crime that strengthens our police, cracks down on gangs, and improves Tulsans’ safety. She’ll put more cops on our streets, use smart technology to track criminals, reduce blight and expand mentoring programs for our youth — and Kathy will re-double our efforts to crack down on violence against women and children – all while living within our current budget and revenue sources. There are Three Action Steps for Reducing Crime 1. Strengthening our Police Department and our 911 Call Center by working collaboratively with our police department to: • Establish the right level of police staffing to get ahead of the attrition curve • Review police department positions to determine which should be civilianized • Ensure that police officers are equipped with the best technology to support
Establish appropriate staffing with the right training at 911 Call Center to handle the volume of emergency calls Ensure regular training and continuous improvement in public safety processes
2. Helping Law Enforcement by Leveraging 21st Century Technology
• • Making more crime data public and the police department more transparent to develop greater community support and collaboration in crime fighting Upgrading antiquated record management systems Automating paperwork for faster response times
3. Taking a Community-based Approach to Reducing Crime • Reducing blight in neighborhoods • Expanding mentoring programs • Creating a drug-free neighborhood model (DFND or “Defend”) • Aggressively pursuing targeted gang sweeps • Building strong neighborhood associations and connecting them to law •
enforcement Supporting the Crime Stoppers Program
Crime in Tulsa
Without question, crime is the most prevalent issue on Tulsans’ minds. According to the 2011 Citizen Survey, nearly two out of every five Tulsans feel unsafe walking in their own neighborhood after dark and over half feel unsafe walking in downtown at night. These feelings are not without reason. In the first three months of the year, Tulsa had 14% more robberies than last year, many of which were violent. Additionally, with 51 murders already as of October 2nd, the murder rate is poised to far exceed 2012, underscoring the need for an aggressive plan to reduce Tulsa’s crime rate. During my first term as mayor, I took a community-based approach to reducing crime. We held the Building a Safer Tulsa Summit, established the Mayor’s Police and Community Coalition, and introduced policing technologies like COMPStat. We worked with partners including the US Attorney’s office to get the worst criminals off the street; the Bureau of Juvenile Affairs to intervene early when youth commit crimes; and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and Career Tech to train inmates before release and place them in jobs. By engaging such a wide variety of citizens and groups, we began to break the cycle of crime by showing at-risk youth that there are positive alternatives to criminal activity. We provided opportunities by helping to launch Tulsa Achieves, which has provided a pathway for over 10,000 Tulsa area youth to earn a 2-year degree. When youth did turn to crime, we found ways to intervene early and give them the skills and opportunities to keep them from offending again. Finally, when intervention was not an option, we gave police the tools to fight crime more effectively and to keep Tulsans safe. Going forward, Kathy Taylor will take a coordinated approach to fighting crime that strengthens our police, cracks down on gangs, and improves safety. She’ll put more cops on our streets, use smart technology to track criminals, reduce blight and expand mentoring programs for our youth — and Kathy will re-double our efforts to crack down on violence against women and children – all while living within our current budget and revenue sources. Action Steps for Reducing Crime
Strengthening our Police Department and 911 Call Center tewtstsat
Strengthening the Tulsa Police Department (TPD) and the 911 Call Center is the first step to improving public safety. For years, the TPD has struggled to keep up with attrition. Kathy will work with the TPD to determine what the right level of staffing is to get ahead of the attrition curve, to determine which positions should be civilianized, and to decide how technology should be employed in crime fighting. Similarly, we can work with the 911 Call Center to determine appropriate staffing levels to handle the volume of emergency calls the center receives and ensure regular training and continuous improvement in processes. She will also
make it easier to request 911 call recordings because Tulsans deserve open, accountability government.
Helping Law Enforcement by Leveraging Smart Technology tewtstsat
In addition to strengthening our public safety departments, we can build upon technologies implemented during my first term, introduce new technology, and integrate existing technologies to help police fight crime more efficiently and effectively. Some examples of things we can do are as follows: Making more crime data public. The TPD has unprecedented, instant access to crime data through cutting-edge programs like CitiSource. By sharing crime statistics with the public, we can make citizens more aware of crimes that are happening around them and keep them better informed about how best to prevent crime and to stay safe. Through this collaboration, we can set the stage for true Intelligence Driven Policing to reduce crime by making efficient use of resources. Upgrading antiquated record management systems. The TPD has implemented new systems that allow them to share information with other agencies. However, underlying these systems is an antiquated record management system. Cities across the country are implementing systems that optimize record sharing, increase investigative capability and make it easier for police to access the information they need. At the same time, these new systems will allow the City to share real-time information about crime with the public. Automating paperwork for faster response times. Tulsa law enforcement still relies largely on paper documents to issue arrest warrants, which can sometimes delay arrests. Electronic warrants have been adopted statewide in places like Colorado, Utah, and Kentucky. In Salt Lake City, officers can request warrants from judges via e-mail from their patrol cars and receive responses in moments. By automating more of these manual processes, we reduce wasted time, effort and money and increase the time police officers spend patrolling our streets.
Taking a Community-based Approach to Reducing Crime tewtstsat
Tulsa must get back to the basics of taking a community-based approach to reducing crime. Engaging all members of the community in the fight to reduce crime is the only way to create sustained, long-term reductions in crime. We need to continue a community-based, neighborhood-driven approach like I started during my first term as mayor. Some examples of things we can do are as follows:
Reducing Blight in Neighborhoods. Abandoned houses in neighborhoods act not only as safe havens for gangs and drugs, but also as shameful inhibitors to neighborhood pride. According to the “broken window” theory, this increases crime rates in blighted neighborhoods. Increasing code enforcement, holding absentee landlords accountable, and improving ordinances to give the city the tools it needs to deal with blight will greatly reduce crime in Tulsa. Addressing blight in our neighborhoods is an effective, low-cost way to reduce crime by making systemic changes the drivers of crime in our community. Expanding Mentoring Programs. Working with Tulsa schools to rebuild initiatives like the Mayor’s Mentoring to the Max! and the Mayor’s Mentoring to the Max! for Music that put over 400 mentors in 18 Tulsa area schools is crucial in reducing crime by ensuring that young Tulsans have access to positive role models. Creating a Drug-Free Neighborhood Detail (DFND or “Defend”). A chronic drug presence in neighborhoods creates an unsafe environment primed for violence. Cities like Kansas City, MO, and Jacksonville, FL, have formed multi-departmental teams that combine the resources of the police department, prosecutors, civil attorneys, and community groups to work together to target and crack down on drug dealing in the cities’ neighborhoods. Aggressively pursuing targeted gang sweeps. Gangs in Tulsa account for only a fraction of a percent of the population, but account for around 30 percent of the crime. While gang prevention and intervention are integral to our long-term crime reduction strategy, regular, targeted gang suppression efforts have been proven to have dramatic and immediate effects in reducing gun-related crimes and assaults in Tulsa. Expanding these efforts is essential to reducing criminal activity. Building strong neighborhood associations and connecting them to law enforcement. No one knows a neighborhood better than the people who live in it. By supporting Tulsa’s neighborhood associations to grow and become stronger and connecting them with the Tulsa Police Department, information about criminal activity can quickly be shared. Having a neighborhood association council where neighborhood leaders from across the city and police can develop crime-fighting strategies. In many cities, close links like these have reduced home burglaries by letting residents know when criminals are active in their neighborhood. Supporting the Crime Stoppers Program. Since its inception, Tulsa Crime Stoppers has paid an average of $14,000 per year to tipsters helping to solve over 5,500 felonies and capture 85% of the Tulsa’s Most Wanted. With results like these, it is clear the program works. However, there’s room for improvement. In Kansas City, Missouri, where the program is much larger because it has broad support from local businesses, Crime Stoppers has captured over twice as many criminals per year and resulted in millions of dollars in returned property. To increase our results, we should also think smartly about new ways to pass the message, such as on screens in government offices. Even though programs like these cost money, they are efficient ways of engaging wide public cooperation in tracking down the worst criminals in the community. 5
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