By: Craig Thurmond | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: February 2019
Even being in the top 20 safest cities in the country with more than 100,000 people is no small accomplishment. Public safety has always been a priority in the City of Broken Arrow.
Did you know Broken Arrow is one of the safest cities in the country? Most residents have a gut feeling or innate intuition about this, but two separate reports released in 2018 confirmed it.
In December, website 24/7 Wall Street ranked Broken Arrow as the 19th Safest City in America. Seven months earlier, Business Insider named Broken Arrow 9th lowest crime city in the United States.
It’s important to note that the reports were compiled months apart using different sets of data within the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report for 2017. That’s the reason the rankings are not closer together.
Even being in the top 20 safest cities in the country with more than 100,000 people is no small accomplishment. Public safety has always been a priority in the City of Broken Arrow. Our public safety personnel do a phenomenal job keeping our city safe, and you, the residents of Broken Arrow, also do a wonderful job promoting a culture of safety in our community and looking out for neighbors.
From left, Captain Deidre Hughes, Major Thomas Cooper, Sergeant Joshua Russell, Sergeant Daniel Hurst, and Captain Stephen Garrett II.
According to the 24/7 Wall Street ranking, in recent years, the incidence of violent crime in Broken Arrow has declined more than in nearly any other city. There were just 124 violent crimes reported per 100,000 city residents in 2017, down 19.2 percent from 2016.
To identify the safest cities in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed violent crime and population statistics for cities with populations of 100,000 or more from the FBI’s 2017 Uniform Crime Report, table 8: “Offenses Known to Law Enforcement by State by City, 2017.” The website calculated the rate of violent crime per 100,000 people.
Police Chief Brandon Berryhill credits these high safety rankings to supportive citizens and City Council. “The Broken Arrow Police Department is proud to be listed among the safest cities in America,” he said. “We will continue to strive for the best for our community. Sustained positive community engagement is the hallmark of our success.”
Additionally, Chief Berryhill credits his department’s customer service mindset and partnering with citizens as key factors in developing the trust needed for officers to do their job effectively. Sustained community engagement is a priority for all officers and citizen employees in BAPD.
The Police Department utilizes community programs such as a citizens police academy, gun lock safety, victims advocacy, video messaging and Night Out on Main Street to help connect law enforcement with the public. Much of this work is done through the Crime Prevention Unit.
The Crime Prevention Unit also coordinates free car seat safety checks, Alert Neighbor Programs, and numerous volunteer opportunities. One of the most successful programs is the prescription drop off box in the Public Safety Complex lobby (1101 N. 6th St.), allowing anyone to safely dispose of unwanted prescription medicine.
Crime Prevention is a hallmark to keeping a safe city. Crime Prevention Specialist Lisa Ford coordinates yearly public events such as, Camp Bandage, Back to School Bash, and BAPD’s Night Out Against Crime just to mention a few. One of the newest additions to services provided is the “Craigslist Safe Space” where residents can conduct their exchanges at the Public Safety Complex, 1101 N. 6th St – off Kenosha behind the Cotton Patch Cafe. The well-lit parking lot and lobby are both under video surveillance, making them safe places to meet someone for private sales.
Another great program is the Citizens Police Academy, which educates the public and provides a better understanding of how our Police Department functions and operates. BAPD is even beginning a Spanish language class this year for further outreach. Find out more about this program at BrokenArrowOK.gov/CitizensPoliceAcademy.
Craig Thurmond has served as Mayor of Broken Arrow since 2012. Mayor Thurmond, who represents Ward 2, was first elected to City Council in 2001. A Tulsa native, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. Thurmond has worked in the construction industry for over 30 years and owns a small business, Thurmond Consulting, located on Main Street in Broken Arrow. He was recently named Mayor of the Year by the Oklahoma Municipal League and the 2016 "Elected Official of the Year" by the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce.
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