Tulsa’s crime statistics rose when Kathy Taylor was mayor
I live in South Tulsa and I feel pretty safe most of the time.
A few years ago, someone broke into our house and stole some things. It was a Friday night and my wife, my daughter and I had gone shopping after dinner.
We came into our home and I noticed the light was on in our bedroom. I went in and there was jewelry spread over the bed and I knew we had been robbed.
My feeling is that everything I own belongs to God. He’s just letting me use it. The burglar – probably a teenager from our neighborhood - only stole a handful of items. And he or she took things that were inexpensive and easily replaced.
A policeman came and told us that we were fortunate. He asked me if I had a gun in the house because I was within my rights to shoot someone if I found them inside stealing our belongings.
He said our little Boston terrier dog probably caused the burglar to leave more quickly than he wished. She couldn’t do a lot of damage to a burglar but she can make a racket when provoked.
Since then, we have taken steps to make our house more secure.
I have lived in Tulsa all my life and frankly, there are parts of town that I avoid – especially after dark.
We all know that the area around 61st Street and Peoria Avenue – where the four women were shot and killed – is a hotbed of crime.
Government-subsidized housing tends to attract criminals although not all poor people are criminals. In fact, most are more likely victims of the criminal elements that prey on the less fortunate.
I don’t like going downtown after dark. Who knows if that homeless man pushing a stolen grocery cart is psychotic or not?
I applaud the work of John 3:16 Mission and how they help the homeless but even the Rev. Steve Whitaker will tell you to be cautious around some of these men.
And apart from the homeless, downtown is filled with bars and nightclubs. I am not a drinker but I know that those establishments have problems with drunks, fights and drunk driving.
Yes, there are bars and nightclubs in South Tulsa but they are not as tightly situated.
I avoid most of North Tulsa after dark. This has nothing to do with race or poverty but crime. Watch the 10 p.m. news. A lot of crime at night is north of downtown along the Peoria corridor.
Several times a year we hear of an innocent getting shot in a drive-by shooting by some northside gang. It’s just a fact.
There are a lot of wonderful people who live in North Tulsa. The city has spent millions to make that part of the city more attractive and livable.
I grew up in East Tulsa around McClure Park at Memorial Drive and 11th Street. It was a great place to grow up. Our neighborhood was filled with young families and children.
I spent seven years working at offices at 21st Street and Garnett Road and 41st Street and 129th East Avenue. I have friends and family who live in East Tulsa.
But parts of East Tulsa – around 21st Street and Garnett Road – are particularly rough. I would not go there after dark.
A few years ago, I was driving on Garnett Road (during the day) and a car changed lanes right in front of me and slammed on the brakes. I am a defensive driver and I was able to stop without hitting that car. The driver sped away with no explanation.
Apparently, he or she wanted me to run into the back of his or her car so I would be cited for following too closely and they could claim medical expenses and get a big fat check from my insurance company.
A similar incident with the same result happened on North Peoria Avenue once.
I don’t go to casinos, either. So don’t expect to see me at 81st Street and Riverside Drive or in Catoosa or far North Tulsa at a casino after dark. Casinos want everyone to think they are safe but what if some bad guy follows you home from the casino?
When casinos arrive, crime goes up. It’s a fact.
Here’s my point. Tulsa has crime. The mayor, the police and the district attorney can have a direct impact on reducing crime.
Statistics show that major crimes were on the rise when ex-Mayor Kathy Taylor was in office and they have declined some since Dewey Bartlett became mayor.
So, if you want to base your vote for mayor on Nov. 12 strictly on reducing crime, you cannot vote for Kathy Taylor – despite her slick campaign ads that make her seem tough on crime.
• Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Officer asks a young engineer fresh out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “And what starting salary are you looking for?”
The engineer replies, “In the region of $125,000 a year, depending on the benefits package.”
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• The phone rings in the middle of the night at a doctor’s house.
He answers and it is his friend, another doctor, that tells him: “We need a 4th player for our cards game.”
He gets up and puts on his coat.
As he is doing that, his wife asks: “Is it something serious?”
And he replies, “You can bet on it. There are 3 doctors in there already and they need my help.”
• A little kid opens a box of Animal Crackers. The mom leaves him alone in the kitchen for a couple of minutes and then returns to see a giant pile of crackers on the kitchen table.
She asks “What are you doing?”
The little kid responds, “The box said ‘do not eat if seal is broken’. I am looking for the seal.”
• A man saw a dog tied to sign entitled “talking dog for sale: ten dollars.”
He stops to enquire, and on a whim, asks the dog, “So can you really talk?”
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The man, amazed, runs to the front door and gives the owner of the dog his $10.
Before walking away, the man, overcome by curiosity, finally asks, “How come you’re selling him so cheap?”
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