Stimulus Money Will Help Tulsa Area Police

Saturday, March 7th 2009, 6:03 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Millions of dollars in stimulus money is set aside to help law enforcement in the Tulsa area.

Police departments rely on federal grants to pay for several programs.

For example, Tulsa Police uses a $275,000 grant to pay for the Tulsa Gun Crime Intervention Project. It pays overtime to help get guns off the streets, a seemingly never-ending fight, investigators say.

"As soon as they get out of jail, they're back to doing the same thing as before," Tulsa Police Cpl. Gene Watkins said in July. "A lot of these homicide scenes are people I arrested when I started 18 years ago."

Tulsa Police have their eyes on another chunk of federal money as President Obama released details about his economic recovery plan to help law enforcement.

TPD is looking at $2.7 million, Muskogee $184,000 and Catoosa is on the list for $15,000.

The catch is the agencies still have to apply for the money.

Tulsa Police say the money would hire an analyst to track crime statistics, equip patrol cars with a wireless internet connection and revive a juvenile crime program to track young offenders.

It would also fund a drug task force that netted 140 arrests in its first five months after it was formed in fall 2007. The program was close to shutting down.

"All of these crimes drive down people's property values and cause problems in neighborhoods," Sgt. Bob Darby of the Tulsa County Sherriff's Office said in January 2008. "A lot of our domestic issues are drug-related. I believe if they cut the task forces, we'll see a significant increase in those other crimes that go up."

View the allocated amounts for other Oklahoma cities and counties.