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Tulsa Police's Impact Team doubles in size to address growing population, crime, and homelessness

Posted at 5:13 PM, Mar 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-21 19:43:42-04

TULSA, Okla. — In downtown Tulsa, population, homelessness, and arrests are up. That's why this month TPD's downtown impact team doubled in size: adding a night shift to tackle everything from burglaries to violent crime.

Since joining this department, Corporal Brandon Davis said crime numbers are going down.

"You catch a guy that's doing serial burglaries or assaulting people, multiple people, eight-nine people maybe over two weeks. If you get that guy early on then you're preventing him from committing other crimes, at least while he's in jail," Cpl. Davis said.

In addition to crime, the team works to keep those on the street safe. Staff at John 3:16 said the city is coming together to address a homeless population that continues to rise.

"Of course by nature people are transient and they're moving, but there are still camps all over town. You take down one camp, you clean up that camp, you help that person get housed, you turn around, and there's another one back in the same spot," Reverend Steve Whitaker said.

The impact team is being approached by departments around the country, all which are looking for answers in the wake of growing homelessness.

"We've got to put our best foot forward so every time we come together and collaborate: whether it's law enforcement and the shelter or law enforcement and the mental health people and the shelter... as long as we're all working together we can make a better impact," Whitaker said.

Those on the team said it's encouraging to watch safety improve.

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