Tulsa Community Rallies Around Change
TULSA, Oklahoma - 61st and Peoria has been known to have a bad reputation for crime, but now some people in the area are trying to change perceptions.
Police and city officials have been working with the community to spark change in the area and people in the community say they already see progress.
“It just scared me because I have kids and I was afraid for their safety,” said Tulsa resident Jennifer Payne.
Payne has lived at Savannah Landing for the past year and a half and has seen a lot of violence in the area.
“It kind of went through my head to move because I got scared,” she said.
The area of 61st and Peoria has a storied history of violent crime, but the community wants to rebrand itself with a new identity.
“We know that the perception, the way people think of this area is not true and now the community has a way of saying 'hey look we want to see change' and we are about to have change,” said Community Resource Officer Popsey Floyd.
For the past few months, people in the community have been working to plan an event that encourages people to get to know their neighbors, because having events like this can help promote peace in the area.
“A lot of times when you have violence in this area, usually everybody knows everybody,” Officer Floyd said.
“I think that folks getting out and being neighbors and getting out and getting to know one another is certainly one of the ways that community gets built,” said Tulsa City Councilor Ben Kimbro.
“I really haven't seen a lot of crime activity lately so I think events like this will change people's minds and hearts,” Payne said.
Tulsa police credit the decrease in crime to an increased police presence.
“It's been amazing. Crime has been lower. We are getting a lot more interaction with our community,” said Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan.
“I think this is the first step of something great. I think what's next is whatever this community wants,” said Officer Floyd.
They are also looking to rebrand the area with a new name.
Some of the name choices right now are Mountain View, Hope Avenue, Riverwood Square, Hope Valley, Riverwood Village, and Sunrise.
You can nominate your own and there's still time to vote.
To nominate your own name or to vote on existing names, you cam attend a grant committee meeting which take place the first Monday of each month at 4p.m. in the South Tulsa Community House.