Taylor Unveils Plan to Fight Crime if Elected

Oct 3, 2013

(Foreground) Oklahoma Fraternal Order of Police President Ron Bartmier speaks Thursday at a press conference announcing the union's endorsement of Kathy Taylor in Tulsa's mayoral election as (background, from left) union spokeswoman Jessica Caswell, former Tulsa police officers Joe Perkins and Rex Berry, and Taylor look on.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

If elected mayor of Tulsa in November, Kathy Taylor has a three-point plan for fighting crime at the ready.

Taylor unveiled her plan Wednesday at a press conference also used to announce her endorsement by the Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police, the union representing city police officers. With its endorsement, Taylor has the backing of both unions representing the city's public safety workers.

The plan addresses staffing, technology and taking a community-based approach to crime. (Read Taylor's entire plan here.)

Taylor said she would work with Tulsa Police Department to determine if certain positions should be civilian instead of sworn. She also said there is a need to get ahead of the department's attrition rate on the streets and in the 911 call center.

Technology was cited as a major area in which the department could improve, with Taylor offering several steps. 

"Using crime data so police and the public can work together to prevent crime. Updating the antiquated records-management system that our police have to deal with," she said. "And automating paperwork for faster response times so we can let police officers do the things that they are trained to do, and that is fight crime."

Representatives of the police union in attendance said engaging the community would be the most important action.

"You can have technology all day long, but unless you have the citizens and the employees taking ownership of [the plan], the technology doesn't do you any good," said Oklahoma Fraternal Order of Police President Ron Bartmier, who was with TPD for 35 years.

Steps under that part of the plan include reducing blight, connecting neighborhood associations with law enforcement and expanding the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip program.

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation statistics show Tulsa's crime rate declined from 74.96 in 2007 to 65.34 in 2011, the most recent year available. The lowest crime rate during that time was 65.22 in 2010, Mayor Dewey Bartlett's first full year in office.

The crime rate is calculated as the number of index crimes per 100,000 people. There are seven index crimes: Murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft. 

The highest crime rate in OSBI's online statistics was 81.33 in 2004.