Tulsa Night Out Aims To Bring First Responders, Neighbors Together
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa leaders made an extra effort Tuesday night to strengthen the relationship between Tulsa police officers and the people they serve.
That was one of the goals for Tulsa Night Out, and to do that, neighborhoods and families welcomed officers inside.
Home after home, group meeting after group meeting, police officers and firefighters met the people they serve.
Shane Tuell with Tulsa police says "This allows us, as first responders, to get out and let the community know that we are very engaged."
The hope is to foster a better relationship between neighbors and first responders.
"I think neighborhood policing is the way of the future, actually. So, that people trust our police department and fire department more," said attendee, Deborah Brazeal.
But crime in Tulsa this year is anything but inviting.
Tuell said, "It would be nice to break a record low someday."
In Wichita, Kansas, a similar size city to Tulsa, the police department there has dealt with 14 homicides, while Tulsa police have been investigating 49 homicide cases.
First responders tried to visit 45 different Tulsa neighborhoods and were invited into many private homes to meet with people; it's those personal interactions that make the difference.
Attendee, Neil England said, “This will be helpful. It's a step in the right direction."
"No matter how good we believe that our communication is with our, between the police department and the public, it can always get better," said Tuell.
But with crime crowding the headlines this summer, many hope the initiative will bring neighborhoods together.
Brazeal said, "It's nice to be able to put a face with names and understand some of the options we have."
Police were also encouraging people to sign up for Smart911, where you can provide police with access codes, information about pets, or where secret keys are hidden, so police respond faster if an emergency is at your home and you are not.