Oklahoma City has launched a yearlong initiative to “take back” a 4.4-square-mile area that law enforcement authorities consider among the most dangerous in the city, reports The Oklahoman. Between 2008 and 2012, police reported 1,466 violent crimes, including 14 homicides, in the area. Officials are using $382,000 from an Oklahoma attorney general’s grant for the area, which includes 41 apartment complexes, many of them rundown and serving low-income residents.
The grant is paying overtime for five police officers to monitor and respond to 911 calls involving violent crimes in the area. Police hope to spend most of their time working to prevent violence before it happens. That means increasing foot patrols, making contact with residents, executing search warrants, identifying drug activity and making arrests. The grant also is paying for a part-time code enforcement officer. The effort is progressing well, said police Maj. Jeff Becker. From Nov. 4 through Tuesday, officers have mounted almost 200 foot patrols through neighborhoods and apartment complexes, made 103 traffic stops and conducted 180 field interviews, including 14 with gang members.