Storefront TPD for Downtown Stalled

A team comprised of Downtown Tulsa Unlimited, the Tulsa Police Department and the Office of the Mayor, with the help and suggestions of downtown developers and businesses, has been working to establish a satellite police station downtown.
“We look to improve the downtown perception as it relates to criminal activity and police presence,” said the Tulsa Police Department acting chief, Deputy Chief Mark McCrory.
But, as the debate among national decision-makers on pullout strategies in Iraq reflects, coming to an agreement on a timeline is difficult.
The satellite station would be established at 507 S. Main St., next to Impressions Restaurant. The station could start operations as early as July 1, said Jim Norton, Downtown Tulsa Unlimited President.
Though the TPD desires to establish a satellite police station downtown, said McCrory, there is no specific timetable for doing so. Loose financial and administrative ends must first be tied.
“Is July 1 when I would tell our offices that we’ll have a downtown storefront? I couldn’t tell them that tomorrow with complete confidence.”
Efforts to establish a storefront police station downtown have persisted for years, said Norton.
“A presence downtown will give everyone a better sense of security, and that will equate to better business, more restaurants, and more good things happening.”
DTU helped find a suitable storefront for the TPD satellite station and gifted initial costs to establish that police presence downtown. Despite the gift, the City of Tulsa has yet to decide when – and where – to set up shop.
“We have located a spot that would be perfect to start out, but the city moves slow,” said Jennifer Mansell, Tulsa Police Department’s downtown safety liaison.
TPD’s possible move to the Wil-Tel building along with City Hall has further stalled decision-making, said Mansell.
“Why would we need a storefront? We’d already be downtown,” said Mansell.
“I can’t speak for her, I think the Mayor supports this, especially with the Arena coming in,” said McCrory. “It would be a great staging area for our officers for downtown events. There’d be a great visibility factor.”
After a plan to absorb costs of a satellite TPD office is formed and a request for action is filed with the Mayor’s office, the decision falls ultimately to the Mayor, McCrory said.
“If I’m asked if I think we’re going to have a storefront downtown with the Arena coming up, I would more so than ever answer yes – if you had asked me that two years ago, I would probably have said no.”
DTU and TPD are not on different sheets of music, McCrory said.
“We both see a need. But departmentally, we can’t move as quickly on this as some would hope.”

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