Tulsa councilor proposes task force to improve area where 4 women slain
BY ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writer
Friday, February 01, 2013
2/01/13 at 5:56 AM
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on the Fairmont Terrace homicides: Read coverage of the apartment complex killings and on other homicides in the area nearby.
A city councilor has proposed forming a task force to seek quality of life improvements for the area of 61st Street and Peoria Avenue, where four women were fatally shot at an apartment complex Jan. 7.
Councilor Jeannie Cue told a city committee Thursday that she wants to assemble elected officials, neighborhood leaders and residents to brainstorm projects and seek grant funding with the aim of addressing social and economic problems that have contributed to the area's high crime rate.
"This is the time we feel like we really need to start going," she said. "I hope the council will consider and approve this so we can get some ideas together and get this going."
The task force would focus on improving safety, creating activities for children and establishing social services such as mental and medical health care, Cue said.
The council is expected to vote on the proposal this month.
Lanny Endicott, president of the South Peoria Neighborhood Connection Foundation, said local residents have clamored for years for a meaningful effort to improve the area.
He said Cue's proposal is further evidence that the shootings at Fairmont Terrace apartments have generated interest in such an effort, but he stressed that action must come quickly.
"This is our time," he said. "We have a window of opportunity to get this done because the news media works in sound bites. Today's news isn't tomorrow's news."
Cue said she would like the task force to pursue projects that the South Peoria Neighborhood Connection Foundation has sought for years - chiefly, a community center.
The group has formally proposed such a facility twice since 1997 but "we can never get any traction with the city," Endicott said.
The group envisions a 22,000-square-foot facility at Johnson Park near 61st Street and Riverside Drive. Ideally, that building would house a health clinic, basketball court, food program, classrooms and meeting space, Endicott said.
Cue said Endicott's group would be represented on the task force.
A number of people and groups have also shown interest in participating, including current and city councilors, Mayor Dewey Bartlett's office, a county commissioner, churches, schools and neighborhood associations, she said.
Any concerned residents - from any part of the city - would also be welcome, she said.
"I get calls from all over the city to get involved," she said. "We're stronger together."
Cue did not immediately know how often the task force would meet or how long it would operate.
Public Safety Task Force: Formed in response to April 6, 2012, Good Friday shootings. Submitted broad, citywide safety recommendations to City Council in December.
Public Safety Intelligence Working Group: Formed in response to Fairmont Terrace shootings with a goal of improving communication between police and residents Last of four meetings planned Tuesday.
61st and Peoria Quality of Life Task Force: Proposed in response to Fairmont Terrace shootings.
Original Print Headline: Task force touted for troubled area
Zack Stoycoff 918-581-8486