A crime reduction plan for the 61st and Peoria area shows some positive signs halfway through a grant program to identify and resolve crime issues.
The City of Tulsa orchestrated a $500 thousand crime reduction grant awarded by the US Department of Justice. Early on, researchers identified the Savanna Landing (formerly Fairmont Terrace) apartment complex and a nearby convenience store as trouble spots for the neighborhood. The area was targeted for social services, code enforcement and community policing.
A full-time Tulsa Police officer works the apartment complex and the square mile around it.
He's one of the changes researchers say is cutting crime in the area. In the last year, researchers say reported assaults are down 25%, and in the last three months, calls for service to police are down to 10 compared to 56 for the same period last year.
“It's a friendly place to live, it's not a scary place like it was when it was Fairmont Terrace,” said Tracy Burris, who lived at the complex when four women were murdered in 2013.
The crime prompted calls for action that resulted in the City pursuing a grant and the community mobilizing to support residents.
Now the managers of what's now Savanna Landing and residents are eager to show off some of the results.
The complex underwent a $14 million dollar, tax credit supported the renovation, and the apartment began aggressively filtering out people causing chronic problems. “I think by them getting rid of the people, the drugs and stuff that was going on out here, I think that helped a lot’ said Burris.
Researchers mapped out hot spots for assaults and theft, and believe some simple improvements in lighting and fencing helped discourage criminal behavior.
This spring, the community donated materials, and residents planted a community garden. Residents work together to maintain it and share in the harvest.
The property manager for Savanna Landing said the complex is 88% occupied but turns down many applicants they believe will cause trouble.