- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 7, 2015

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A comprehensive study of staffing at the Tulsa Police Department says more than 200 officers need to be added to fit the needs of crime patterns in the city.

The study done by the Institute of Crime Science at the University of Cincinnati was presented to the City Council on Tuesday. Researchers looked into crime in Tulsa, the workload for officers and potential approaches to crime prevention.

The study recommends the department increase staffing to at least 958 officers, with nearly half on patrol. It also says the department should bump up hotspot policing and directed patrols.

Robin Engle, the lead researcher, said police should approach hiring more officers carefully.

“If you bulk up now and just take anyone that applies or just meets the minimum threshold, you now have those officers for their entire careers,” Engle said. “You don’t want those officers.”

Study recommendations could impact the tax package to go before voters, the Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/1NnsyOU ) reports. City officials have said the report’s recommendations could lead to a separate tax.

City Council members did not vote on whether to aim for the recommended additional officers. Officials should first figure out if it’s doable, council member Karen Gilbert said, and then talk about how to pay for it.

“Now’s the time that we need to really roll up our sleeves and get to work,” Gilbert said.

Council member G.T. Bynum said he hopes the study provides a way for the city to find the funding needed for recommendations.

“There is a real public need,” Bynum said. “This isn’t just something that’s being said because it’s politically popular.”


Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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