The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office is reflecting on its response to major crimes over the last year.
Casey Roebuck with the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office said things are looking up since many pandemic restrictions have been lifted. She said they can now serve the community free from that fear and said that makes a difference in daily crime.
"We've been able to connect with kids in schools with people at community events in a way that last year we really just weren't able to do that. So, to see this come full circle and life start to feel somewhat like normal for our law enforcement and the way that they interact with the community has been absolutely incredible," said Roebuck.
Tulsa County residents must not want coal in their stockings this Christmas.
"They're also behaving a little better than the year they were before," said Roebuck.
TCSO responded to fewer major crimes in 2021 compared to last year.
"It is really good to see these stats coming down. It lets us know that we're on the right track in terms of the way we interact with the community. The enforcement that we do. We're doing something right here," said Roebuck.
So far this year, the agency has responded to 258 burglaries which is a significant drop from 359 in 2020.
Reports show the sheriff's office investigated 432 larcenies last year but responded to just 375 this year. Roebuck attributes this to being visible in areas where these types of crimes often happen.
Domestic violence cases for Tulsa County decreased from 309 to 253. Roebuck believes this could be influenced by the loosening of covid restrictions
"As you recall in 2020, that's when covid was in full effect. People were in their homes with their families all the time. We did expect to see those calls go up and they did," said Roebuck. "But now in 2021, when a lot of those restrictions are lifting, people are going back to work, they're not confined in their homes with their families nonstop, naturally we did see those numbers go down a little bit."
What's alarming to Roebuck is homicide numbers. Tulsa County Sheriff's Office typically averages 3 to 5 homicide investigations a year. Last year, deputies didn't respond to any, but so far, in 2021 they responded to 8.
Should the public be concerned? Roebuck said not necessarily.
"These are kind of all over the place. Everything from family disputes to drug activity, to just fights. And then we have a couple of bizarre unsolved cases," said Roebuck.
Roebuck said in 2022 the agency hopes to focus on community policing.
"The members of the community are our eyes and ears in those neighborhoods. When they trust us to bring us information and to talk to us, to report crimes when they happen, even small ones, that's how we make a difference in these statistics," said Roebuck.
The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office said it must have enough people to accomplish its community policing goals and wants to focus even more on recruitment efforts.
Roebuck said there are plenty of opportunities to serve that don't include carrying a gun and badge.