TULSA, Oklahoma - When gang violence makes the news like it has recently in north Tulsa, it might lead some to assume that crime in north Tulsa is high, even the highest in the entire city, but that assumption is wrong.

The truth is, north Tulsa's crime rate is the lowest in the city, and not just this year, but for the past seven years in a row; and one man is on a mission to change the long-held misperception.

Major Travis Yates runs the Gilcrease Division in north Tulsa and he said it's well past time people knew it's the safest place to live and work in the entire city.

“People think it's the highest crime, people think there's mayhem going on and it's simply not true," he said.

We asked several people what part of the city they thought had the most crime, and while some said east Tulsa or downtown, many agreed on the north side.

Tulsa is divided into three areas - north, east, and southwest - each has about 70 square miles.

If you look at the stats by geography or even population, north Tulsa has had the lowest total crime - violent and non-violent - for the past seven years; the southwest part actually had the highest during those years.

Crime statistics in 2014 show:

  • Gilcrease Division: 5,321 reported crimes per 100,000 population
  • Riverside Division: 5,659 reported crimes per 100,000 population
  • Mingo Valley Division: 5,666 reported crimes per 1000,000 population

As of June 2015, the numbers show:

  • Gilcrease Division: 1,928 reported crimes per 100,000 population
  • Riverside Division: 2,218 reported crimes per 100,000 population
  • Mingo Valley Division: 2,105 reported crimes per 100,000 population

"When you tell people every day they live in the worst neighborhood, the worst part of town, it affects individuals, it affects citizens, affects our kids, affects attitudes. People leave communities because of that, businesses don't build in those communities and that is the message we have to get across. This perception is not accurate," Yates said.

The Gilcrease division is highest in drug and gun cases, but, Yates said that's because his officers aggressively work those cases because getting drugs and guns off the streets reduces other crimes.

He said they do have issues and are working on them and said keeping crime up north the lowest in the city is all about citizens, non-profits, churches and police working together.

"We want people to know while we are the safest, we've got more work to do and we need our community's help to do that," Yates said.