OK Chief Says Community Policing Cuts Crime

Violent and property crime both are down 4 percent this year in Oklahoma City, says Police Chief Bill Citty. He gives community policing much of the credit. Voters decide Sept. 12 on a sales tax increase for more officers.

Violent crime and property crime were both down 4 percent in Oklahoma City in the first half of 2017, Police Chief Bill Citty told the city council, The Oklahoman reports. Crime is down, though residents’ perception of safety is unchanged from last year he said. Citty’s presentation precedes a vote on a quarter-cent sales tax increase to help fund an additional 129 police officers. Voters decide Sept. 12.

Citty said the department is focusing on building relationships with residents. Strategies include meetings with community leaders, training on “implicit bias” and techniques for de-escalating potentially violent situations, and community forums on race and police relationships. Police divisions are hosting quarterly neighborhood meetings where those who attend can hear presentations by police and ask about anything on their minds. “We are overwhelmingly doing so much more now than we have been in the past,” Citty said. A door-knocking initiative is showing early signs of success, Citty said. Officers step out of their cars and go door-to-door, visiting with neighbors to hear their concerns. Violent crime in the focus area is down 20 percent. Citty called the results “significant in such a short period of time.”

from https://thecrimereport.org