A portion of a proposed city of Tulsa bond issue will help the police department

Monday, February 28th 2005, 1:55 pm
By: News On 6

City of Tulsa voters get ready to decide on some city improvements. Tulsa voters will decide on April 5th, whether to approve a $250-million bond issue.

Much of the money will go toward street projects, but a small portion of it, about a million and a half dollars, would help the Tulsa Police Department replace its property room.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright says the current police warehouse is practically falling apart. The Tulsa Police Department gets more than 30,000 new pieces of evidence and found property every year.

The property room downtown is already overflowing, so much of the stuff ends up in a warehouse. And believe me, they have it all. Tulsa Police Captain Jim Hunter: "Anything that can be stolen or lost, we have it, from the educational to the embarrassing, from the intriguing to the intimate, we have it here."

The problem is, it takes a lot of space to store nearly half a million items and the current warehouse is no longer big enough, plus the building is getting older and is a mess. The ceiling has many holes in it, walls are boarded up, and items get flooded every time it rains, a mess. “This is a very small part of the bond issue, very small, but, it's critical to us. If we can get this support, it will make us more effective and efficient and that's really what we want, is for the citizens to have a bigger bang for their tax dollar.”

Some of the property eventually gets auctioned off on a web site, but many pieces of evidence, like blood or semen or guns from murders and rapes must be held in storage for years and years, cases depend on the items being kept safe, dry and ready for trial. "If the DA or criminologist needs a piece of evidence, we could get it much more quickly."

The police department wants everything under one roof, preferably a roof that's not leaking or caving in.

The April 5th bond issue also includes money to improve the police department's DNA lab as well as the police stations in east, south and north Tulsa.