New local links

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I want to call your attention to three relatively new links on the sidebar:

TPD Blog, the blog of the Tulsa Police Department, has had a lot of interesting content lately. They link to articles in local media about TPD, and provide regular updates on the progress of the latest academy class. In one recent entry, Off. Will Dalsing expresses his opinion of the personnel and financial challenges faced by the TPD:

So here is the problem: while it is true that we are back to being at, or slightly above, our "authorized strength," that number is terribly low. The Tulsa Police Department has been at that number for over twenty years. True, the population has not significantly changed in numbers, but the calls for service (the amount of calls that the officers must respond to) yearly has gone up in the tens of thousands....

Imagine that you are having a bit of a problem in the neighborhood. Kids are out at all hours of the night being loud and tearing stuff up. Maybe there are some houses with what appears to be a lot of traffic…. maybe someone is selling drugs there. Or maybe there are some scary looking people whom you are pretty sure are calling themselves a gang. You would call the police right?

So the Police Captain at the local division assigns a whole squad of seven or eight cops to your street. The Captain tells them "saturate that neighborhood for a few days….I don’t want anyone to so much as spit on the sidewalk without having to talk to an officer because of it."

Is that a dream? It is in Tulsa. See we don’t actually have enough staff to take the calls for service. We "hire-over" nearly every shift at every division. It’s hard to be pro-active when you are always back "on your heels." So even thought we do have a squad at some divisions for "Directed Patrol," it may be still at the expense of our response to calls in the field.

Or let’s say you are building a new structure in your downtown that will likely bring tens of thousands of people to the area several nights a week. The area is in the process of revitalization. Foot traffic is going up. The bars and restaurants are popping up. For tourism, safety, and the well being of everyone involved, more cops are needed. In fact, the business owners are so decisive on the matter that they are willing to give their own money to help equip officers to work in the area. Can we give them a squad of officers? Not currently.

We know we must be pro-active for Tulsa’s new arena and for the downtown district as a whole. A part-time bike squad is in the works but how will we have the manpower to staff the area full time?

The second link is Stop the Chop, a website about protecting Woodward Park's trees from indiscriminate removal. You can read the history of the controversy, view relevant documents, and learn what you can do to help.

The final link is not Tulsa-specific. It's a web community for conservative activists throughout the State of Oklahoma, and it's called GetRightOK.com. The site includes a blog, a forum, an events calendar, and other community networking tools. It's intended not just to be a place to chat and trade insults but to network for the purpose of taking constructive political action. I've written a guest piece for them, yet again about the Oklahoma Republican state convention, but with a focus on the state chairman and vice chairman's races, with some historical background.

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4 Comments

sbtulsa said:

there is a sef fulfilling prophecy here. manpower shortages make the job harder for the individual officers here. that leads to job frustration and pressure, which means more turnover. higher turnover means higher training costs, redirecting budget funds to academies that only keep from getting further behind the curve instead of other expenditures thatmake the police more effective.

wouldn't raising the level of manpower pay for itself with both lower overtime and lower training costs?

Bob said:

Don't expect a lot of sympathy from me about our poor, understaffed, underpaid and oversexed police department.

They get the cushiest of free-rides known in American law enforcement with a tax-payer provided police take-home car even if they live outside of the City of Tulsa.

This ultra-expensive taxpayer-financed giveaway to the TPD Freeloaders was invented by former Mayor Silly Susan Savage to ingratiate herself to her Praetorian Guard, and also to continue to justify burning 3rd Penny Sales tax dollars to provide a police car for at that time all 700+ TPD sworn LEO's. Police could henceforth commute to a Tulsa residence address in a tax-payer provided police car.

The public policy pretext of this giant give-away was that somehow a TPD police car parked in front of a residence in a driveway or on the street was somehow protecting the public.

Then, her lamentable successor Mayor Misfortunate panders to HIS own Praetorian Guard, and expanded on this bone-headed policy by allowing our free-loading TPD to take-home a TPD police car from within a radius of 25 miles of 41st and Yale Avenue.

So, now the taxpayer is stuck with paying the commuting costs for TPD to commute to Owasso, Broken Arrow, Bixby, Jenks, Sapulpa, Sands Springs, etc. And, this goes even further into chewing up 3rd Penny Sales taxes earmarked for "Capital Improvements".

Driven on many of our city streets lately? They are in NEED of some Capital Improvements.

And, to add to the taxpayers' financial misery, we also get to pay for the TPD commuting cost to their MOONLIGHTING jobs. Many TPD rent out their badges after duty hours, like directing traffic around Mabee Center events, or stopping Sunday traffic on arterial roads to allow church goers ready ingress & egress to church parking lots, or working security at events like Driller Baseball games.

With the rapid acceleration of fuel costs, it has got to be tearing just an enormous hole in the City operating budget.

So Mayor Taylor continues a bone-headed wastefule public policy, but city can afford to only open 4 of 22 public pools this summer, and now wants to close parts of two of our crown jewel public golf courses.

It's really all about PRIORITIES, isn't it?

Dumb and Dumberer just get Dumberer.

sbtulsa said:

this whole argument is frustrating to me.

first, lafortune and taylor both lie about police manpower. adding officers is only half the equation. if the don't add more than attrition takes away the citizens lose protection.

second, they could increase the force by some number of officers for the amount of overtime that is being worked.

third, and this is the most important to me, if you had a properly sized police force attrition would decrease. thus, the number of required police academies would decrease, saving some amount of money.

the point is, we could have more cops on the street for the same amount of money we are now spending. would it be 200 more? no, but it would be an imporvement. Then we can start building up to the 1,000 officers we citizens deserve.

dynamicnacho said:

In your URL link to Stop the Chop, you post .net instead of .com.

Please change this, as the true address is http://stopthechop.blogspot.com/

Thanks.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 7, 2007 10:50 PM.

Choral concert Tuesday: American Boychoir and Tulsa Boy Singers was the previous entry in this blog.

Compromise or capitulation? is the next entry in this blog.

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