Neighbors, we have been planning on having a feel good, congratulatory meeting on how well Tulsa Tough and Cry Baby Hill went this year, and we’re going to do that, for sure. That said, we have been hearing a lot from neighbors about different types of crime in the neighborhood and concerns over safety. While not an exclusive area of concern, the area at 15th and Denver, simply put, is a problem which must be solved.

We are going to try again with a Crime and Safety meeting to search for constructive solutions. Please calendar Monday, September 20, 2021, at 7:00pm for an outdoor, in person, meeting at the Yard Bar (Formerly Elwoods) located at 19th and Riverside. We’re not positive about seating. You might consider a lawn chair. Tell your neighbors. Let’s get as many voices as we can.

A few years ago, we had a Crime and Safety meeting at which city officials and District 4 candidates as well as law enforcement appeared to hear our comments and concerns and to offer their responses. We are in the process of inviting as many as can attend. At this point, Councilor McKee has been invited and has graciously accepted our invitation. I hope we will see other city officials and law enforcement. I will give other updates as I have them.

It is not our intention to hold an unproductive, gripe session, but just the same, we now need to come up with ideas that make a difference. These problems cannot simply be handled by neighbors on their own. We don’t have the funds or the levers of policy or tools of law enforcement. So, please come with detailed information to help our public officials help us, and, as I say, please be productive. I have no intention of misusing our guests’ time to abuse them. Making someone else feel crummy is not the best way to encourage them to action. We all do better when government and citizens work together. Let’s do our part and encourage them to do theirs.

After the last Crime and Safety meeting, we looked into and tried to organize a Neighborhood Watch program. We received quite a bit of useful information from Karen Gilbert of Crime Stoppers on how to set up a Neighborhood Alert program, but things never could get very far off the ground because we need to train block captains to handle organization within each neighborhood. We had some, but not enough, block captain volunteers. Things may have changed and now there may be more enthusiasm throughout the neighborhood, but we have the idea that we might be able to put Neighborhood Watch in place around hot spots in the neighborhood, such as 15th and Denver. I’d guess we would have volunteers to help out there. Please understand that this is no criticism of neighbors. Ours is a very large neighborhood, with few financial resources. The charm of our neighborhood is in its diversity, but with that, we know folks work a lot, have busy, committed lives, and are dealing with their own circumstances which may prevent them from focusing on issues outside their own lives. That said, if we can help, collectively, we should. We are not suggesting that Neighborhood Watch is a substitute for effective city policy, reallocation of resources or active law enforcement; we’re not going to be vigilantes. We can be good neighbors and good citizens at the same time.

So, please set your calendars and make your notes for discussion. We want to make progress. And please join as a member of the Association. While neighbors are free to talk at our meetings, members of the Association are those who vote. There’s a link on the website for that.

Feel free to call, text or email. Rick Eagleton, President 918-845-0637.

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