Protecting Citizens Who Report Crimes

Wednesday, May 2nd 2007, 7:39 pm
By: News On 6

If you've ever witnessed a crime but didn't report it, you're not alone. Tulsa Police officers say solving crimes is becoming increasingly difficult because people don't want to snitch or don't want the hassle of being involved with an investigation, but News On 6 anchor Jennifer Loren reports several local agencies rolled out a program Wednesday that will protect citizens from the hassles and the dangers of reporting crimes.

On September 20th, 2006, Tulsa's leaders held a gang prevention summit. Tulsa's murder rate was rising quickly and police blamed more than half of those crimes on gangs. Back then U.S. attorney David O'Meilia said there was a lot of interest in solving our gang problem.

"That kind of criminal activity that affects a community generates that kind of interest," said O’Meilia.

That was seven months ago. Now people are interested in what has come of that gang summit.

"This initiative was proposed by one of our groups at the gang summit last fall," said O’Meilia.

The U.S. Attorney's office and the mayor’s office are launching a new program called Confidential Reliable Citizens.

CRCP includes a two-hour training session for every day citizens. They'll learn how to spot gang and drug activity. Then they'll get a code name and code number. If they spot suspicious activity, their calls will be dispatched to police with priority.

"What we're trying to do is we're trying to encourage citizens to assist us in taking back their neighborhoods," said O’Meilia.

Many times witnesses are afraid to report crimes. O'Meilia says the key to the new program is those citizens identities are kept secret. Police will never need to show up to their homes or businesses to take a report.

"One of the things that promotes gang membership and gang activity is the fact that they know they can instill fear in the normal citizen, and their activities will then either go unreported or if it’s reported, those people are unlikely to show up in court and testify," said O’Meilia.

Another reason they say this program will be a success is because the citizens will never end up at the courthouse as witnesses.

Tulsa asked for a solution to its gang problems. Maybe now people will report those problems with no fear of repercussions.

If you'd like to become a reliable confidential citizen call the crime commission at 585-5209.

Watch the video: New Program Helping Keep Dangerous Criminals Off The Streets