Security concerns grow among Greenwood business owners as more people come to downtown Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. — Greenwood business owners said their security concerns are growing as more people come to downtown Tulsa. Business owners said their main concern is the lack of lighting.

Black Wall Street Tees and Souvenirs owner Cleo Harris said lack of lighting is a new issue. It’s becoming increasingly dangerous at night for employees.

“We have a lot of traffic coming through here, and so you can’t catch everything if you don’t have lights,” Harris said. “You can have cameras but not correct lighting, what good does that do?”

Devin Williams owns DW Speakeasy, the only late night spot on Greenwood Ave. He told FOX23 the amount of people and lack of lighting and police presence is a recipe for disaster.

“It’s a community issue we’re facing right now,” Williams said.

Greenwood Chamber of Commerce President Dr. Freeman Culver said the chamber is paying out of pocket for extra lighting and private security during events.

The Chamber hired Mark Jeans with Triarms Security, and Jeans is making recommendations for Culver to present to the city in the future on ways to improve security.

CEO of Downtown Tulsa Partnership Brian Kurtz released a statement on the issue:

“The Downtown Tulsa Ambassadors provide cleaning and safety/hospitality services in Downtown seven days per week and have regular contacts with businesses regarding their needs and concerns. The Greenwood/Archer corridor is regularly and heavily traversed by our teams who proactively and reactively address non-emergency situations and relay critical information to the Tulsa Police Department and other partners. We continue to convey these and similar concerns to the City of Tulsa with requests for a larger and more visible police presence in Downtown’s business districts.

We are aware of inoperable streetlights on the east and west side of Greenwood and are actively working with contractors to restore power. During a recent City-permitted and privately constructed streetscaping project, an underground conduit powering the decorative street lights around Greenwood and Archer was damaged beyond repair. The contractor communicated this issue to our electrical contractor, and they have been collectively coordinating with the private construction firm, electrical engineers and public utilities on a solution to fully restore power to these lights as quickly as possible. We have kept Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, the adjacent property owner, apprised of the issue and efforts to restore power throughout this process and hope to have the lights fully functioning again very soon.”