A disturbing preliminary report by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) shows there was a significant increase in the number of murders that occurred in 2015.
Back in 2014, there were 178 murders across our state. In 2015, there were 241 murders. That’s an increase of more than 35 percent.
While the OSBI states no one can predict or always prevent a murder from happening, these numbers can help local law enforcement see where they can target their resources. But there is still the big question of why we saw such a significant jump in the number of murders last year.
The OSBI states it could be due to the number of high casualty cases that happened, including the deadly crash that happened at the OSU homecoming parade last October, and the case in Broken Arrow where two brothers murdered five members of their family last July.
There was also a case in Tulsa where a man killed his wife and children and then turned the gun on himself.
“You can find out where these murders are happening, what area are they domestic violence vs. home invasions. You can direct more of your manpower toward that,” OSBI Spokesperson Jessica Brown said.
Police departments and sheriff's offices can also use this information to apply for federal grants.
"They can say, 'We're seeing an increase in gang activity or we're seeing an increase in domestic violence,'” said Brown. “So they can get grants specifically to those and they can get more people on those areas from that grant.”
While the Bureau did see an increase in both murder and rape, they did see a decrease in both non-violent and property crimes across Oklahoma.
The complete uniform crime report is expected to be released in a few weeks.