Comanche Park tops in gun-crime reports
BY CURTIS KILLMAN & CASEY SMITH World Staff Writers
Sunday, September 16, 2012
9/16/12 at 6:02 AM
When Cassandra Crowley's young cousins come to visit her home, she keeps an eye on them when they play outside.
Her watchful eyes were prompted by what she heard before moving to the Comanche Park Apartments about a year ago. She said she heard more bad than good about the public housing complex at 3608 N. Quaker Ave.
"What I heard was back in the day, it was real bad," said Crowley, 41.
But in recent years, Crowley said, she heard crime in the complex had waned. When looking for a new place to live, she decided to give Comanche Park a chance.
"So far, it is cool," she said of living at the complex.
Since moving there, Crowley hasn't been a crime victim or seen any crime in the complex, she said, although she acknowledges that she doesn't know many of her neighbors.
"I stay to myself," said Crowley, whose unit is in the back of the complex.
She said that's probably why she didn't hear gunshots when two Comanche Park security guards returned fire early Aug. 27, wounding a man who had shot at them.
"I didn't hear it," said Crowley, who called the shooting "crazy."
Crowley said she regularly sees security guards patrolling the complex and notes that everyone who enters the complex must show identification.
"I feel safe," she said. "I'm just a human being trying to make it, like everyone else."
A Tulsa World analysis of Tulsa police crime data indicates that Comanche Park ranks as the location with the highest number of reported gun-related crimes over the past three years. The complex is operated by the Tulsa Housing Authority.
Records show 45 reports of firearm-related crime at addresses at or near Comanche Park since August 2009. The address that ranked No. 2 in reported firearm-related crimes was a north Tulsa apartment complex with 27 incidents.
The list of gun crimes at Comanche Park includes two homicides - in 2009 and 2010 - and five robberies that involved a firearm, records reflect. The rest of the reported gun crimes at the complex involved assaults.
The 45 incident reports stem from 33 unique crimes. In some cases, more than one victim was involved in a single occurrence. In one instance, one firearm assault involved nine people.
Chea Redditt, Tulsa Housing Authority president and chief executive officer, said that shooting stemmed from an argument between residents of two households in the complex. No additional details were available, and Redditt said she didn't know if any arrests were made.
"Most of the crime in public housing is not from our residents, but it's from people who come on site to prey upon our residents," Redditt said.
Redditt estimated that 90 percent of the crime in public housing could be attributed to nonresidents of the communities.
One gun incident reported this year involved a fake gun, and another involved a BB gun, she said.
"Managing crime is a full-time business for us, because we are committed to the families that we serve having a nice place to live and kids being able to play out on the playground," Redditt said.
The Tulsa Housing Authority has spent nearly $1.3 million on security at Comanche Park since 2010.
The spending includes $234,000 for security cameras with video surveillance capability and nearly $700,000 on security patrols. Comanche Park is a gated complex with 24-hour security on site.
"We do the very best we can because, truly, I want our communities to be like any other neighborhood in Tulsa," Redditt said. "I want our tenants to feel safe there."
Curtis Killman 918-581-8471
Casey Smith 918-732-8106
Jacqueline Horn walks Tuffy, her pit bull/Labrador mix, past a row of clotheslines at the Comanche Park apartment complex in Tulsa on Thursday. The neighborhood had the most gun-related crimes in all of Tulsa over the past three years. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World