Oklahoma City Police Likely Hire More Officers, Detectives

Friday, May 11th 2012, 6:10 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

For the first time in 20 years, Oklahoma City is likely adding officers to its police force. The police chief says more patrol officers and detectives are needed to keep us all safe.

According to the chief, Oklahoma City hasn't added officers to its police force since the early 90's. Still, since that time the city's population has grown about by about 200,000.

The chief says the city's crime rate has been growing too.

During just one night this week, a woman reports being kidnapped, robbed and shot before being dumped out of the car on the Kilpatrick Turnpike. Another woman says she was hit by flying glass after someone fired a gun into her passenger window.

5/8/2012 Related Story: OKC Police Investigate Attacks On Women That May Be Related

And a teenager was pistol whipped and beaten, his friend shot, as they walked to meet their school bus.

5/8/2012 Related Story: Teens Attacked On Way To School In OKC, One Left Paralyzed

It's all evidence of what Oklahoma City police chief Bill Citty says is a steady increase in assaults in the city.

"We have not overall added a significant number of officers to keep up with the level of service that we should be providing," Citty said.

A crime trend that Citty says has a potential for even more serious crimes.

"The trend should be also that homicides should go up the more assaults you have those people are not going to survive so that's concerning," Citty said.

And that's one of the main reason's Citty is asking for more officers. This year's budget proposal is calling for adding 12 officers to the streets and three detectives, two of which will investigate assaults.

"We know we can effect an area where crime goes up if we have the resources to put in those areas," Citty said.

In addition, Citty says the additional officers will help increase police visibility and lower response times.

The city council still has to vote on the budget before the officers can be added.

That vote is coming up on June 12.