Tulsa Police to hold public meetings about new video surveillance systems
Tulsa Police plan to install 25 cameras in "high crime" areas across the city. (ERIC RISBERG/AP IMAGES)
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The Tulsa Police Department and Tulsa Crime Stoppers will host three public meetings about installing surveillance cameras across the city. The announcement comes as TPD receives 25 specialty cameras to place in “high crime” areas of Tulsa.

“We started working on a plan to deploy the readers in the city to reduce violent crime,” TPD Capt. Jacob Johnston told News on 6.

The solar-powered cameras can capture vehicle details like license plates, bumper stickers, dents and defections. Tulsa Police say they will provide added resources to help address and solve instances of crime quicker and more efficiently. The first 25 Flock Security cameras will be provided at no charge to the city. The Police Department and city leaders will monitor their effects over the course of a year before installing more cameras.

Some community members have expressed skepticism and concern about the possibility of an invasion of privacy. After hosting one sparsely-attended community session, officials chose to host more in different areas of Tulsa to solicit more input.

The three additional sessions will each take place from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

  • Tulsa Tech Lemley Campus, Client Service Center, 3638 S Memorial Ave. on Monday, April 18th.
  • Church of Resurrection, 4804 S Fulton Ave. on Monday, April 25th.
  • Rudisill Library, 1520 N Hartford Ave. on Thursday, April 28th.

Cameras come as calls for change in Tulsa Police Department reignite across the city

News of the cameras comes as the department faces enhanced scrutiny following the release of body camera footage where officers taunt an elderly woman experiencing a mental health crisis. The video sparked community-wide outrage and reignited calls for transparency and oversight.

However, Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin has thus far not confirmed that any permanent disciplinary action has been taken against the officer. Likewise, the city still has not advanced its promise to deliver independent oversight of the police force.

Racial disparities in Tulsa’s policing practices have only widened in recent years. Still, some are hopeful these cameras will help curb crime overall, as they have in other cities.

“Not only are we going to see, as other departments have seen across the nation, increase in our arrests related to auto theft, but stolen guns, and drugs, and potentially a reduction in violent crime as well,” Capt. Johnson told News Channel 8.

Nate Morris moved to the Tulsa area in 2012 and has committed himself to helping build a more equitable and just future for everyone who calls the city home. As a teacher, advocate, community organizer...