Tulsa’s homicide total so far this year, 55, is on pace with two record years in the past decade, says the Tulsa World. The number of homicides between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31 also totaled 55 in 2009, when the city had 71 homicides, the highest yearly homicide total in recorded history. “It (homicides) seems to be the hot topic every four years” when the Tulsa mayoral election is held, said Deputy Chief Dennis Larsen, a 34-year veteran of the department.
Mayor Dewey Bartlett said, “We have found solutions. We’ve organized our police officers into beats and put the boots on the ground in neighborhoods. … (Police Chief) Chuck Jordan and his team have done a great job making Tulsa a safer city.” Former Mayor Kathy Taylor, who faces Bartlett in the Nov. 12 election, said she has made crime a priority in her campaign because residents have told her it is a priority for them. Sgt. Dave Walker, who leads the Homicide Unit, said that in eight of the 55 cases, not including the three officer-involved deaths, the assailant and the victim were not previously acquainted. Five of the stranger homicides were during robberies, and the other three were during altercations.