POSTED ON OCTOBER 24, 2012:
Tulsa Robberies, Break-Ins Persistent Problems. Over the last five years, Tulsa police can point to a more or less steady trend of decreases in the overall city crime rate.
Tallying major crimes and comparing it to the population, the crime rate per 1000 residents fell to 65.34 in 2011 compared to 74.71 in 2006.
This long-term trend seems promising, though the rate did tick up slightly compared to the 65.22 crime rate in 2010.
But a look at individual categories of crime doesn't provide as much assurance that Tulsa is becoming a safer city.
The number of robberies, for example, has not changed much over the last five years, with the fewest number of robberies recorded in 2006 when 997 robberies were reported during that time period, according to crime statistics kept by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Since then, the numbers have fluctuated, reaching 1,381 in 2010 before falling to 1,090 last year, according to data released this month.
And the trend has actually been an increasing one for burglaries, described by OSBI as breaking and entering. Unlike robbery, breaking and entering is considered a non-violent crime, but it can put fear in the heart of home and business owners.
In 2006, reported breaking and entering crimes totaled 6,843; last year, that number was 7,353. While the numbers have fluctuated up and down a bit over the last five years, that still marks a significant 7 percent increase. During the same time period, the city's population has only grown about 3 percent, according to bureau estimates.
The city's lowered crime rate comes mainly from decreases in theft as well as a strong trend of decreasing felony assaults. In 2006, reported larceny crimes totaled 14,523; by last year, that number only reached 12,136.
Meanwhile, felony assaults have decreased for three consecutive years. They totaled 3,477 in 2006, but only 2,555 last year.
Other categories of crime used to calculate the crime rate are murder, rape, motor vehicle theft and arson.
Notably, the 49 murders reported in 2011 were the lowest since 2004, when 48 murders were recorded in Tulsa. Rapes totaled 266 in 2011, the highest numbers since 2007, when 299 rapes were recorded.
While numbers for Tulsa were unavailable, the bureau's report also describes hate crimes throughout Oklahoma. The numbers remained small last year, with only 31 offenses categorized as hate or bias crimes. Three groups were targeted in multiple hate crimes in 2011: African-Americans were targeted in 13 hate crimes, Hispanics were targeted in 7 hate crimes, and gay men were targeted in two hate crimes.
TU Program Bringing Fresh Air to Nevada Schools. Once again, University of Tulsa air quality researches are making a contribution to the air quality in schools.
On Oct. 16, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a $32,339 grant to TU for researchers to help a Nevada school district improve their indoor air quality.
According to an EPA news release, the Clark County School District (which includes Las Vegas) will benefit from projects that will lower indoor air contaminants. The grant was given out as part of $1.2 million in funding disbursed throughout the United States.
The Indoor Air Program at TU is described by the school as "internationally recognized" and has worked with more than 35 school districts across the country to improve indoor air quality. Richard Shaughnessy has led the program since 1987.
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