AG Pruitt, Law Enforcement Meet to Discuss Best Practices to Reduce Violent Crime in Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt on Tuesday met with more than 40 law enforcement officials from across the state to discuss new research and evidence-based policing programs that have delivered lower crime rates in cities in Oklahoma and nationwide.
The AG’s Best Practices in Public Safety seminar held at the State Capitol featured presentations by one of the nation’s leading crime science researchers from the University of Cincinnati, Robin Engel, as well as Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty and Norman Police Chief Keith Humphrey.
“Resources matter. You’ve got to have resources to go out and make your community safe, but what we learned today is strategy matters,” Pruitt said. “Our goal should be about making people safe. I want you to know that we are here to be a partner with you to achieve that. We’re here to serve you and to walk with you to ultimately see citizens served across the State of Oklahoma.”
The seminar is part of public safety training provided by the AG’s Safe Oklahoma Grant program, which is administered by the AG’s Office with targeted appropriations from the state Legislature. Attorney General Pruitt awarded the first grants in August to six law enforcement agencies. The second round of grants will be awarded in the spring.
“The Safe Oklahoma Grant will help local law enforcement agencies combat violent crime and create a safe environment for our families and children,” Pruitt said. “Violent crime is at near record levels in some cities in Oklahoma, and that is simply unacceptable. We must embrace an attitude of intolerance to any violent crime in Oklahoma and an attitude that we are going to be the safest state in America; to set that goal and pursue it.”
The Oklahoma City Police Department received the largest Safe Oklahoma Grant ($750,000) to be used to increase patrols in targeted high crime areas and to help develop a new data system that will provide real-time crime data to officers in Oklahoma City and surrounding suburban communities.
“Oklahoma City’s reduction in violent crime is due to the overtime officers in our hotspot areas,” Chief Citty said. “Without the grant, it would be impossible to do what we need to do.”
Among the issues discussed Tuesday included results from multi-city research studies on new targeted policing strategies that are reducing not only violent crime, but all crime.
“Evidence based policing is the future of law enforcement,” Engel said. “We’re moving toward targeting, testing and tracking. We’re getting there. If we focus on strategies that are evidence-based and focus on transparency, legitimacy and partnerships to produce a structure that works, you can have effectiveness and equity in policing.”
“Each and every law enforcement professional in Oklahoma believes in their job and believes they can make a difference in their community,” Chief Humphrey said. “We owe our citizens the best service we can provide. Partnerships and transparency are the keys to a successful crime fighting organization.”
Attending Tuesday’s public safety seminar were representatives from the following agencies:
Oklahoma City PD
Del City PD
Nicoma Park PD
Valley Brook PD
Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office
Garfield County Sheriff’s Office
Oklahoma Highway Patrol
District Attorneys Council
Oklahoma City Community College Campus PD
Langston Campus PD
OSU-Tulsa Campus PD
Several state agencies