What is fueling Tulsa's increasing crime rate?
Tuesday, April 4th 2006, 8:54 AM CDT
Many people wonder what is fueling the increased crime rate and whether something citywide could be prompting the violence.
A criminal psychologist says societal factors like poverty and unemployment can promote violence, but in most cases violent acts like homicides have to be evaluated on an individual basis.
Dr. Curt Grundy has testified as an expert witness in dozens of murder cases across the state. He says younger people with a history of substance abuse or prior violent attacks have a higher potential to resort to deadly violence. Grundy says that potential is increased even more if someone comes from an unstable marriage or family life or suffers from a personality disorder.
Dr. Grundy says he's also seen cases where criminals didn't expect to commit murder when they planned their crime, but changed their minds in a split second. "There are times when I've clearly met people who have judged its better off to leave no living victims in terms of witnesses. In evaluating those types of people, you find more of the psychopathic personalities, where they're callous, no regard for others, very cold emotionally."
Dr. Grundy says murders often happen in clusters, and Tulsa's gang problem is a significant contributor to the murder rate. Grundy also says statistics on violent incidents nationwide are going down.
In Tulsa, all crime except violent attacks are going down.