61st & Peoria residents scared to talk to police

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Updated: 1/15/2013 9:21 am Published: 1/14/2013 11:35 pm

As the community begins to move forward after a quadruple homicide, the issue of safety is a top priority.

Neighbors at St. Thomas Square at 61st and S. Peoria met with police and the Crime Prevention Network about creating an Alert Neighbor group.

The Crime Prevention Network, formerly known as the Crime Commission, is a non-profit organization that provides many crime prevention programs including Alert Neighbor and Crime Stoppers.

St. Thomas Square has been known to attract criminals, but new people in management have helped quiet the complex.

However, more work needs to be done in all complexes in the area between residents and police.

"Communication between apartment management, maybe get some cameras installed and full time security where they have it 24-7,” said Tulsa Police Sergeant Kurt Dodd.

The residents who showed up to the meeting didn’t want to show their faces.

They feared what would happened if neighbors saw them talking to police about protecting their neighborhood.

So fearful, only three of more than 100 residents at St. Thomas Square attended the meeting. Five others were from surrounding complexes.

"I want to live in a better community,” said one of the St. Thomas Square residents.

St. Thomas Square is owned by Interstate Realty Management, A Michaels Organization based in New Jersey. However, the District Manager’s office is on the St. Thomas Square premises.

"We want to be able to give our residents the resources they need," said District Manager Jennifer Griffin.

The Alert Neighbor meeting had been scheduled before last week’s quadruple homicide that happened one block away.

"We have been very aggressive and we have a no tolerance policy to a lot of issues. We have a very specific resident selection on what we follow.

Another resident told FOX23 he appreciates the security guards on the premises, “they are there to protect us.”

Managers are encouraging residents to report crime or suspicious people.

"They have to meet us half way and that is getting involved and not being afraid," said Carol Bush.

She is the Executive Director for the Crime Prevention Network. She says it’s tough to have a successful Alert Neighbor in apartment complexes because residents are transient. However, there are several apartment complexes who succeed including that one at Inhofe Plaza where there are adults with disabilities and government funding for residents. 

They have block captains on floors of the apartment complex and work together to keep out criminals.

She said it takes a concentrated effort and addressing one problem at a time.

"It's important the complexes start participating. If I have a complex that has 400 people, I’m lucky if ten show. Ten people can't do it,” said Bush.  

FOX23 News rode with Tulsa Police when they locked up dozens of criminals in a violent crime task force last October.  

It made a dent but officers say when they are moved to another special assignment crime pops back up.

"When we hit hard bad guys know that and they disappear," said Dodd. "Police get reassigned and we start paying attention to problem areas and they come back so it really takes the commitment for the people that live here spending the time to tell police what's going on and to make a bond with those relationships to make it last.”

The Crime Prevention Network says more apartment managers are getting on board and meeting with police on crime trends.

Bush says the success to Alert Neighbor groups is consistency.

St. Thomas Square is having another Alert Neighbor meeting with the Crime Prevention Network for its residents on Thursday at 6:30pm.

On Tuesday, District 9 City Councilor GT Bynum is having a meeting with law enforcement, city leaders and media about taking a closer look at how residents report crime.

He’s named the group the Public Safety Intelligence Working Group that will go over what resources citizens use to anonymously report crime, availability of new tools and promoting ways to report crime. The meeting will last 30 days and specifically focus on how citizens report crime.

The Crime Prevention Network has funded Crime Stoppers for decades and last year paid thousands of dollars to anonymous tipsters to solve crimes. No tipster has ever had to testify in court and has always remained anonymous.

If you have any information call Crime Stoppers at (918) 596-COPS (2677) or text a tip to “CRIMES” (274637) and begin your message with “TIP918” or you can submit a tip online at www.tipsubmit.com. Remember you never have to give your name and your tip could lead to a cash reward.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Unwashed Mass - 1/15/2013 11:24 PM
1 Vote
It hasnt been that long since the police corruption trials exposed officers lying and planting evidence, so I would imagine many people dont want to talk to police because they dont feel they work for the people.

Mayor Maynot - 1/15/2013 2:28 PM
0 Votes
Evelyn :-) can't you tell They care. The kids are outside while they burn gaaaakk :-))

Mayor Maynot - 1/15/2013 2:21 PM
0 Votes
I understand that you are scared and have less education than a 7yr old girl who snitched on Alan Shields as he was preparing to dope rope and who knows what else. Shields developed into a very scary person until he was defeated by a 7 yr old. If you ain't got no more gumption than that then with or without speaking up there is a good chance that you may not be observant enough to cross the road #8^]]

WyoMoe - 1/15/2013 11:54 AM
0 Votes
A Hell of a way to have to live in the Land of The Free!

EvelynF - 1/15/2013 9:00 AM
0 Votes
I understand why there scared to talk, I would be too! Especially when you have children to worry about. I stay to myself and I live around the corner from faramont apartments. Kids down the street (ages 2-7) will be outside unsupervised. It's really sad, how parents out here could care less about their children. My option in stoping the violence over here is simple! Get rid of the low income apartment and we'll see a dramatic difference. Yaya I know some are disabled but most of them in those apartment (75%) are people who live off the state and have 5or 6 kids. Pathetic.... Just my 2 cents

reject - 1/15/2013 7:57 AM
1 Vote
Its really hard to trust tulsa TPD when you have ask them for help and get lied to by one of tulsa's TPD.this happen just last week thur. 1-10-13.not even counting times i my self treid to report active meth labs and got no response was tlod by TPD i was smelling trash burnig.
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