Tulsa Police Use 'Operation Safe Shopper' For Holiday Safety

Friday, November 29th 2019, 6:34 pm
By: Erick Payne

Tulsa Police are kicking off "Operation Safe Shopper" to boost their presence in busy shopping areas.

They're focusing on protecting stores and shoppers along 71st Street. Police started the initiative nearly 10 years ago.

Officers said it's been successful at reducing crime.

On Nov. 29 tens of thousands of people will come though Woodland Hills Mall for Black Friday sales.

Among the families is a team of officers working to prevent shoppers from being taken advantage of.

"We make ourselves very visible," TPD Sgt. Brian Collum said.

Collum said their goal is to saturate the area with law enforcement, and act as a deterrent for any potential criminals.

"If you come out here in the next five weekends for more than 30 minutes, more than likely you're going to run into or see an officer," Collum said.

The department uses bike patrols, Tulsa Police Reserve, and traffic officers.

They target the 71st Street corridor and the businesses around there, like Woodland Hills, Target, Kohls, and other stores.

"People that come out here know they can have a safe shopping experience," Collum said.

They also work closely with the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office and mall security.

Deputies post up in two observation towers to keep an eye on the parking lots.

Collum said it's a great opportunity for officers to be out with the community.

"To be able to talk with the public, say hi to kids, things of that nature. We've gotten a huge positive response from the officers that come out. The public loves us being out here, the officers that do this love doing this, so it's worked out for us," Collum said.

He said they used to have a lot of car break-ins before they started the program.

Now several years later that number has been drastically cut down.

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