Citizens Alert Patrol Offers Way For Tulsans To Help Curb Crime
TULSA, Oklahoma - Whether or not citizens vote to add more than 100 police officers to the streets through the Vision tax plan.
In the meantime, there is something citizens can do to make an impact on their own.
Crime Prevention Network: 918-585-5209
Citizens Alert Patrol is a program that trains neighbors how to go on patrol, watch for suspicious activity and report it to police.
People patrolling can put magnetic signs on their cars, which has the added benefit of letting bad guys know, someone is watching.
But it’s not an Old West, Annie get your gun mentality.
"In no way, shape or form are we espousing a confrontation with anybody,” Bart Dean of Crime Prevention Network said. “All you are is a witness."
Neighbors are taught to first get to know what's normal in their neighborhoods, who's out at what times and which cars are parked in the same place. Then they know who and what doesn't belong.
"So when you go out and get a good feel for what's normal, you don't have to look for what's abnormal, it jumps out at you," Dean said.
Only 50 of the 369 neighborhood associations in Tulsa have active citizen patrols right now, but the city wants more because police can't be everywhere all time.
"I equate a neighborhood to a patchwork quilt,” Dean said. “Every neighbor paying attention is a patch in that quilt. The more patches you have, the better and the more patches you having moving around, even better."
He says police are just one patch in that quilt, and it takes all of us taking responsibility for our own safety to keep crime at bay.
To find out more about the Citizen Alert Patrols, the background checks and how it works, there is a meeting coming up on Feb. 25 from 6-8 p.m. at the Brookside Library, 1207 E. 45th Place.