Tulsa police chief supports public safety group in wake of killings
BY KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer
Friday, January 11, 2013
1/11/13 at 7:01 AM
Get the latest news on the Fairmont Terrace homicides: Read coverage of the apartment complex killings and on other homicides in the area nearby.
Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said Thursday that he would support an effort by the City Council to establish a public safety intelligence working group immediately to explore ways to improve communication between residents and the police.
"In areas of the city where we have had tremendous success - Washington Heights (a neighborhood near Apache Street and Peoria Avenue) is always one I like to point to - it has been community involvement that has been the tipping point that has gotten us over the edge, so we encourage and solicit any community help we can get," Jordan told councilors during an afternoon committee meeting.
Police Chief Chuck Jordan:
The police chief was asked to attend the meeting to answer questions in the wake of Monday's quadruple homicide at the Fairmont Terrace apartment complex, 1111 E. 60th St.
He was at a City Council meeting Thursday to answer questions about the Fairmont Terrace apartment killings.
Jordan said his department has long focused on the 61st Street and Peoria Avenue area but that there are some factors that contribute to high crime rates that police have no control over.
"It's kind of one of those things: We arrest a lot of people, and (other) people pop up in their place," Jordan said. "I don't know if we as a police department can successfully address the core problems, which may be out-of-state ownership (of apartment complexes). It may be security issues in the complex itself, the kind of security measures they take, and socioeconomic issues that breed that kind of crime."
He acknowledged that there are limits to what can be gained through crime tip lines and other anonymous methods of gathering information from the public, noting that often it's criminals looking for lighter sentences who provide important leads.
Then there are crimes that occur behind closed doors, which are by their nature difficult to prevent and investigate, Jordan said.
Still, he added, the more good citizens who can provide police with information, the better.
"If we know we've got people dealing dope in an apartment, if we know we've got people committing violent acts, we need to be told about it and who it is," Jordan said. "That would help us tremendously; we could then get on it before a tragedy occurs."
City Council Chairman G.T. Bynum, who represents the district in which the killings occurred, proposed creating the working group.
"What I am hearing is, 'What can we (as residents) be doing to make the community safer?' " Bynum said.
Representatives of the Tulsa Police Department, the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office, the U.S. Marshal's Office, the Mayor's Office and local media outlets will be invited to be part of the working group, Bynum said, as well as anyone law enforcement might suggest.
Bynum said he would like the working group to get a better handle on the resources the city has for collecting anonymous crime tips, what additional tools might be needed and how those tools could be better marketed to the public.
Taxpayers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to create a world-class police force, he said, "but if they (the police) don't get the information they need, it makes their job so much harder."
The working group is expected to report back to the council in 30 days.
Original Print Headline: Police chief: Public's help needed
Kevin Canfield 918-581-8313
Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan (center) answers questions during the regular City Council meeting at City Hall from City Councilor Jack Henderson (foreground) as other councilors G.T. Bynum and David Patrick (background) listen to a briefing Thursday about progress in the quadruple murder investigation. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World