Mayoral Candidates Take Part In Tulsa Police Briefing

Wednesday, September 9th 2009, 5:05 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Both major party candidates for Tulsa mayor aren't taking a day off from preparing for the job.  Democrat Tom Adelson and Republican Dewey Bartlett sat in on a Tulsa Police Department briefing on the city's latest crime numbers.

Adelson and Bartlett both say they're excited to tackle Tulsa crime.  And, while overall crime in the city is down a few percentage points, both candidates are worried about an increase in homicides.

On Wednesday, the candidates were learning about the city, and the crime numbers they could face as Tulsa's next mayor. 

09/08/2009  Related Story: Adelson, Bartlett Advance In the Race For Tulsa Mayor

"This is the first formal presentation, and it really is pretty fascinating," said Democratic candidate Tom Adelson.

Once a month, TPD holds a department-wide meeting to discuss crime problems, and solutions.  They use a program called Comp-Stat.  Up-to-the-minute data is broken down by severity and geography, so it gives police brass a better idea how and where to deploy their resources.

"Of course, the barometer seems to be homicides. How many homicides have you had in any given year," said Tulsa Police Chief Ron Palmer.

Between January 1st and August 28th of last year, there were 33 homicides.  During that same period this year, there were 42 homicides.  That's nine more homicides.

"The increase in murder is scary for everybody, and that's the mayor's top priority, to work with police to give us the public safety we're all accustomed to, and we all deserve," said Democratic candidate Tom Adelson.

Chief Palmer points out assaults involving guns are down 25%.  Aggravated assaults, overall, are down 11%.

"And, you can argue that aggravated assaults can turn into a homicide, depending on the severity of the aggravated assault," said Tulsa Police Chief Ron Palmer.

Republican candidate Dewey Bartlett wants to bring watchdog groups to the table to better understand their own neighborhoods.

"Maybe we can get neighborhood activists, people who want to get involved in our community, and have them encourage cooperation with police," said Republican candidate Dewey Bartlett.

Chief Palmer says he appreciates both candidates input.

"The importance of this is that this truly is the future of policing in Tulsa, and they have to be aware of that," said Tulsa Police Chief Ron Palmer.

Tulsa has recorded 45 homicides so far this year.  The statistics discussed at Wednesday's meeting stopped at August 28th.

Over the last two weeks, there have been three more killings, including a north Tulsa grandmother who was shot in the head during a drive-by.