Tulsa Police Speak About Large-Scale Event Safety

TPD’s Special Operations Team brings in dozens to hundreds of off-duty officers to make sure people are safe at big events.

Wednesday, February 14th 2024, 10:11 pm



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Tulsa hosts a lot of big events from parades to Tulsa Tough to presidential visits, and Tulsa Police say they spend months creating a security plan.

TPD’s Special Operations Team brings in dozens to hundreds of off-duty officers to make sure people are safe at big events.

TPD says they look at tragedies like the shooting in Kansas City and use information learned there to constantly update safety plans here.

Oktoberfest is an event that brings out thousands of people in Tulsa every year, in a relatively small area.

The number one goal of law enforcement is to keep everyone safe at every event.

"These plans are very well thought out, very detailed,” said Captain Mike Eckert, the head of TPD’s Special Operation Team. “Specific assignments are given to specific officers. It's not a 'give me 10 officers, we are going to go over and provide protection to this event.'”

Eckert says he’s always learning from other events and updating security plans.

"Where can we improve based on events happening in Tulsa or across the country,” said Eckert. “Or around the world for that matter. What can we glean from those events that we can use in our planning and our preparation that can make a difference in the safety of the people attending those events in the City of Tulsa."

Eckert says despite all the best training and preparation, they can’t predict everything, so people should always be aware of their surroundings and have their own plan, whether at an event, restaurant, movie theatre or park.

"Just when you think that you have thought of everything,” said Eckert. “I don't know if we truly do believe that in the law enforcement profession. But you have a laundry list of things that we're looking at and planning for, and then something happens outside of that."

He says the most important thing is people should go to these events and have fun and not live in fear.

"These events are in place for a reason, they identify our city for what it is,” said Eckert. “They promote our city, they make our city look good, and they're fun events. We want people to participate in that, and we're going to do everything we can to keep that environment as safe as we possibly can."

Eckert says if you are in a place where a shooting happens, remember these three things: run, hide, fight.

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