Neighborhoods Fighting Crime with Nosy Neighbors

The shootings at Fairmont Terrace Apartments earlier this month have put many Tulsans on alert for crime in their neighborhood. The city is seeing a rise in the number of people wanting to start neighborhood watch groups.

Mary Wulfers lives in a neighborhood near 51st and Harvard. There are alert neighbor signs on street corners, surveillance cameras at main entrances and even neighborhood patrols.

"It will give someone a second thought about whether or not this is a worthwhile neighborhood to visit," said Wulfers.

She has lived in this neighborhood for a decade and likes knowing neighbors have an eye on her.

"It's nice having that sense of community," said Wulfers. "If I'm going to be gone during the day for some reason, my neighbor may be home and she or he may be watching also for me. That's nice."

City Councilor GT Bynum says while Tulsa has had a decrease in overall crime, recent horrific crimes are causing people to be proactive.

"It has driven more neighborhoods, even my own neighborhood, to form neighborhood watch groups and get involved," said Bynum.

Neighborhood watch groups work with police to provide information on suspicious vehicles or people knocking on doors. Sometimes these groups can even catch criminals in the act. Bynum said the key is getting organized now.

"The time to set up neighborhood watch program is before crimes occur in your neighborhood, so you can be proactive," said Bynum.

Homeowners in the 51st and Harvard neighborhood said they pay homeowner fees that help pay for new security initiatives.

Anyone interested in starting a watch group in their neighborhood can contact the Oklahoma Crime Prevention Network at 918-585-5209