02/18/2015 – Some Tulsa police officers are working to reduce crime in a neighborhood running from Admiral to 11th Street and Lewis to Harvard.
Joshua Pester is only 7 years old but he already knows the meaning of teamwork thanks to Officer Tim O’Keefe and other TPD volunteers.
“I think they are cool,” Pester said.
The officers have become role models for Pester and other kids living in the Kendall Whittier neighborhood.
“A lot of the schools we deal with don’t have a lot of male parenting,” O’Keefe said.
Each week O’Keefe spends an hour with kids from Sequoyah Elementary. He said this type of police work is as important as catching criminals.
“It’s policing from a different angle. Some folks don’t understand that. It’s arrest, arrest, arrest. It’s not always that though. It’s a combination of different things,” O’Keefe said.
Tulsa police got involved in the neighborhood nearly a decade ago. They’ve done after-school programs, worked on housing projects and torn down abandoned buildings.
O’Keefe said the crime rate in that time has dropped by about 30 percent.