LaFortune: More police result in higher crime rate

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I really did hear Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune say this tonight:

"More police officers mean more arrests mean a higher crime rate."

Here's the audio of my question and his answer (500 KB MP3), at a "Mayor's Night In" meeting for neighborhood leaders. (Thanks to Bobby of Tulsa Topics for capturing it.)

I always thought crime rate was based on crimes reported, not arrests.

Also, LaFortune seems to say that it's just fine for Tulsa to be a donor city on the "4 to Fix the County" tax. (If the tax passes next week, Tulsa sales will generate $50 million of the tax, but only $40 million will pay for projects in or near the City of Tulsa. The rest will go to the suburbs.)

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Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune, explaining his city's less-than-wonderful crime rate: More police officers mean more arrests mean a higher crime rate. This guy is turning into the Marion Barry of... Read More

» Police Cause Higher Crime Rate from Danz Family

This past week, Tulsa's Mayor, Bill LaFortune, spoke at his "Mayor's Night In" meeting for neighborhood leaders. During the meeting he argued against the "panacea" of having more police officers because, as everyone knows: More police officers, means m... Read More


Paul Author Profile Page said:

So... if we fire ALL of the police, we will have a crime rate of zero!

This also explains why the lights are out the interstate. It's so we won't see accidents at night.

David Sims said:

While I am personally going to vote "no" (I know that makes a big difference for several people), I think that you have to remember that we get a lot of people that live outside of Tulsa city proper that come into Tulsa to buy things. Thus, their "outside" money is included in the Tulsa city portion. So, assuming that our Tulsa proper money is just funneling out of Tulsa may be a little off base. Just my two cents.

Jeff Shaw Author Profile Page said:

Well, he's right you know. Its a silly argument, but he's correct. But that logic advances this argument: Our current government(s) don't want to want to hear truth and correct problems.
To be successful, it only has to look good on paper, regardless of the existence of real problems. I wonder what our crime rate really is?

I guess its really true that if a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, that it doesn't make a sound. I feel so deceived by that.

Fair point, David -- a portion of Tulsa's sales tax is generated by people from outside the city shopping in the city. That portion used to be quite high, but has been declining as the suburbs develop retail to serve their own residents and residents of the surrounding areas. On the other hand, it could be argued that some proportion of the city budget goes to serve commuters, shoppers, and visitors from other cities.

Still, if this 1/6th cent sales tax was a city tax, 100% of the revenues would be captured for use inside the City of Tulsa. Because it's a county tax, only 80% of the revenues will come back.

At the Federal level, "donor states" complain about only getting back 85-90% of the Federal gasoline taxes collected in their states, while other states receive two to three times the amount they contributed to the fund. "4 to Fix" is an even worse deal for Tulsa than the Federal gas tax is for Oklahoma.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 6, 2005 10:25 PM.

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