Community Focus: Police work to curb violent crime with South OKC grant
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
The Oklahoma City Police Department is launching the South Oklahoma City Safe Grant. The goal is to reduce violent crime in the area, and it has a history of working.
The safe grant comes from the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office, and the Oklahoma City Police Department says it is focusing the 371-thousand dollars into more community policing in a high crime area for the next year.
This year police are working in an area from SW 29th to SW 66th and Walker to May.
“Hoping to build… that relationship with the community where they will share information with us so we can take it and analyze it, and enforce the laws that they want us to enforce,” says Major Paco Balderrama with the Oklahoma City Police Department.
Police officers will be going door to door with a survey, and people can talk about any crime related issue they are concerned over.
“Where somebody can tell you, ‘look what I really don't like is the stop sign that everybody runs, so can you please pay attention to that because there's kids in the neighborhood,’ so we are going to focus on that stop sign,” says Balderrama.
The area is heavily Spanish speaking, so there will be a Spanish speaking officer scheduled on every shift. On that note, the department wanted to ease the public's possible fears.
“We are here to help. We are here to address their issues, their needs. This is not affiliated or associated with any type of federal program, immigration program or anything like that,” says Balderrama.
The grant has been used in the Northeast part of Oklahoma City in the past, and police reported a positive shift, and a reduction in violent crime by 20 percent in that area.