When Oklahoma City voters cast ballots on Tuesday, they will decide whether or not to raise taxes to boost public safety spending, specifically hiring more police officers and firefighters. Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett explained the proposal goes beyond more officers patrolling the streets and fire engines in service.
If voters agree to the quarter-cent permanent sales tax, Oklahoma City Police Department will continue to mobilize around community policing and practices of policing in the 21st century, which the U.S. Department of Justice recommends.
“There is a greater need for community policing,” Cornett said in an interview with Oklahoma Gazette. “We need to get our police officers out in the community more to establish relationships with our citizens before there is a need to call 911 for criminal activity. We don’t want the first time a person interacts with a police officer to be when they did something wrong or someone is hurt. We need a greater amount of trust between the police department and community.”
“I think back to the Capital Hill streetscape project on SW 25th Street and the streetscape project along Film Row,” Cornett said. “It hasn’t been that long ago that Film Row was one of the most regrettable places of Oklahoma City. Once the city did a facelift on the infrastructure, the private sector moved in and filled it out. Now, we have the 21c [Museum Hotel]. This is an example of a public-private partnership where we came in with new streets, sidewalks and curbing and there was an enormous reaction from the private sector.”
Read the entire story at okgazette.com.