Jurisdiction Confusion Has Tulsa County Neighbors Concerned For Safety

Tuesday, October 6th 2015, 8:10 pm
By: News On 6

People who live in one Tulsa County neighborhood are frustrated every time they call 911.

They say they get transferred over and over because no one seems to know whose jurisdiction they're in, and those transfers take up precious time in emergencies.

The one square mile on 131st Street between Garnett and 129th is a Bermuda triangle of 911. They have a Broken Arrow address but are in the Bixby school district.

If there’s a police matter in that area, they need to request the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office, but, if there's a car wreck, they need the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and for a fire, it's Broken Arrow.

Resident, Suzanne Rausch said, "You call and you never know who's going to show up. You just hope somebody will."

Rausch called 911 when two men knocked on her door at 3 a.m. and said it was 25 minutes before a deputy arrived.

She called for an ambulance and it took 15 minutes for one from Broken Arrow to show up, and when someone called for a car wreck, two agencies showed up.

"Both Bixby and Broken Arrow showed up and the policemen were actually arguing over who's jurisdiction it was," Rausch said.

She said she and her neighbors are frustrated and concerned about the time it might take to get help.

"When you need help, you need it right now," Rausch said.

The area is booming, with lots of new homes going in, and the neighbors said the issue needs to be sorted out before a tragedy happens.

Rausch said, "I would like for someone to step up and say this is our jurisdiction and we'll be there if you need help."

To cut down on the transfers, neighbors in the one square mile need to know their calls are answered by Tulsa police because they handle dispatching for Tulsa County, too.

Neighbors need to request the sheriff's office if it's a police matter and need to request OHP if it's an accident.

If they call from a cell phone, all bets are off, because, depending on what tower the call hits, you could still be bounced around before they find the agency you need to help.