OKLAHOMA CITY — Last year 99 people were killed within Oklahoma City limits, the second highest murder rate since 1979 when 102 died.
Many of the victims were shot, stabbed or beaten to death during street violence or domestic situations.
The Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is calling for more officers on the streets managing growing crime areas.
The FOP says there are fewer officers now than 20 years ago when the population was lower.
Officials say often times patrol officers are placed in specialty units and replacements aren’t hired.
“You can only assume its going to get worse,” said John George President of Lodge 123. “The gang problem is going to grow. If you can’t have proactive police work and saturate the high crime areas with officers we will continue to have a crime problem.”
At the last City Council meeting David Greenwell (Ward 5) initiated talks about hiring new 200 new officers over the next four years.
“Fifty a year is probably all that we could truly anticipate from a budgetary and training standpoint.” said Greenwell.
The FOP says the force added 38 sworn officers in 2012, but that’s still 76 less than what they would like to see out on the streets.