OCPD To Assign 140 Officers To Bricktown Area For NBA Playoffs
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City police officers are stepping up enforcement in Bricktown. More than ten times the normal amount of officers will patrol the area on Thursday when the NBA playoffs return to Oklahoma City.
At most, 13 officers are in Bricktown on an average weekend, but after last week's game, the chief is pushing back against the violence. He is ordering 140 officers to a one-square mile area around Bricktown and Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Nearly 7,000 people were on the streets in Thunder Alley Monday, May 21. That led to chaos and confusion in Bricktown as police responded to eight people being shot. On Sunday, another shooting happened in Bricktown.
"The potential for having something occur is always there, and that is why we want to have enough security there to stay visible," Chief Bill Citty of Oklahoma City police said.
Citty says the key to stopping the violence is staying on top of the problem and not letting up.
"It's a priority," Citty said. "We have to make Bricktown a safe place for people to go. There's no question about that."
On Tuesday, Jenny Huynh was visiting Bricktown with her two small children. She says she feels safe in Bricktown for the most part.
"After the game, I might not feel as safe," Huynh said.
Msgt. Leroy Dancy took News 9 on the job Tuesday as he patrolled Bricktown.
"Our main purpose here is visibility," Dancy said. "This is mainly a family environment, and that's the way we want to keep it."
Police say Bricktown has more officers than any other area of Oklahoma City.
"I think people are more cautious when they see policemen around," Huynh said.
Citty says he felt there were enough officers on the streets before Monday's melee. However, now moving forward, expect to see a small army on game days. In addition to more officers, police will be adding more lighting in certain areas and monitor crowds from watch stands.