TPD Hopes Community Meetings Will Increase Reporting Crime
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa Police Officers met with community members on Monday night answer questions and talk about concerns in North Tulsa.
This is part of an ongoing effort between Tulsa Crimestoppers and the Police Department to help people feel more comfortable reporting crime in their communities.
Tulsa Police Department says they are always looking for ways to improve relationships between officers and community members because they think this helps people feel more comfortable coming forward.
"If we can just tear down barriers by introducing ourselves to the community, let them know we are here to help them, I think that will go a long way," said Tulsa Police Major Wendell Franklin.
Major Franklin has been working for the Tulsa Police Department for 22 years. He says Tulsa Police Department uses statistical data to align the number of resources they devote to each division.
Major Franklin says the Gilcrease Division has 160 officers which are the most out of any other division, however, they also have the highest turnover.
“We’ve had so many retirements, so many new officers come on so officers don’t have that tenure here so that’s what we are trying to change here,” said Major Franklin.
Even though the area that the Gilcrease Division Patrols has fewer people living there, they still see the highest violent crime numbers. Major Franklin says so far the violent crime numbers for the Gilcrease Division look good for 2019.
Now they hope people in the community will help be their eyes and ears when they can't be around, so they will stay that way.
"We need people to be good witnesses, we need people to decide that they don't want to be a victim of violence and to do that we need their support," said Major Franklin.
"I mean it’s not just about the police department and what they're doing., but we've got to have the input and the support of the community as well," said Executive Director of the Crime Prevention Network, Karen Gilbert.
During her time as a Tulsa City Councilor, Karen Gilbert worked diligently on the public safety tax, which is helping put more officers on the streets.
She says this is helping to increase the time officers can spend building these relationships which can help people feel more comfortable coming forward to report a crime.
“Now that we have more officers out on the streets, it’s easier for them to do what we did last week and get out of their car and have conversations with the community,” said Gilbert.