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Tulsa Police Department changes focus of impact team as homeless population grows

Posted at 4:18 PM, Oct 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-25 19:19:26-04

TULSA, Okla. -- The Tulsa Police Department is seeing a spike in the homeless population, along with a rise in crime. 

Officers told 2 Works for You they're seeing new faces almost daily, and are trying to figure what's attracting these individuals to Tulsa.

"We've heard rumors that cities and other states maybe... probably cities are providing transportation to Tulsa for people. And that's just word of mouth... homeless people on the street telling us that," said Cpl. Brandon Davis with the department's impact team.

The impact team used to assist other patrol officers. Now they respond to their own calls to address the crime that's growing with the homeless population.

"Caught a couple bank robbers. Caught a rapist. Caught a guy that broke into four commercial businesses overnight. And there's many other smaller incidents these guys have actually solved," Davis said.

But this group is also eyes and ears on the ground for police, helping them solve these crimes as well.

"We talked to more than a hundred homeless people, trying to get information on who this guy was and within a week we found him. Could not have done it without the homeless population helping us with that," Davis said.

Davis hopes the department will add officers to the impact team in the years ahead.

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