Oklahoma City police, in partnership with the Bricktown Association, kicked off a new safety initiative on Friday in the entertainment district.
Four off-duty officers will patrol the streets of Bricktown during peak visiting hours over the weekend through the beginning of July.
An increase in violent crimes in the Bricktown area sent the police department and business leaders looking for solutions. They took ideas from Dallas's entertainment district.
“This is not a Bricktown specific problem,” said Justin O’Neal, Bricktown Association. “This is something that’s happening all across the United States right now.”
The Bricktown Association and police want visitors to feel safe in Bricktown.
The public will see the off-duty officers walking or biking the streets every Friday and Saturday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“What we want is those officers to interact with people that come to Bricktown,” said Maj. Dan Stewart, Oklahoma City Police Department. “We want them to engage them, talk to them about the restaurants to eat, why they’re in town. Just have casual conversations.”
The officers can take enforcement action if needed, but their main duties are to create a positive and safe environment. When the Bricktown nightlife comes to life, even more officers will be on the streets.
“After 9 p.m. we bring in an additional 14 officers,” said Stewart. “So, we have anywhere from probably 18 to 22 officers.”
Police and business leaders want to send the public a clear message.
‘This is only for people looking to have a good time and if you come down with bad intentions it’s not going to be a great place to be,” said O’Neal.
The Bricktown Association will fund the off-duty officers.