Bill Crum: OKC Police Department staffing is above 1,000 officers but still short of amount needed

The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer took questions from readers in today's OKC Central Live Chat. You can join Steve's Q&A's on Fridays at 10 a.m. and submit your questions about the happenings in and around downtown Oklahoma City.
by Steve Lackmeyer and William Crum Modified: February 14, 2014 at 12:45 pm •  Published: February 14, 2014
Oklahoma City police investigate an officer-involved shooting Friday afternoon. A man was killed during the shoot-out and an officer was wounded and taken to the hospital. Photos by LeighAnne Manwarren, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City police investigate an officer-involved shooting Friday afternoon. A man was killed during the shoot-out and an officer was wounded and taken to the hospital. Photos by LeighAnne Manwarren, The Oklahoman

The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer and City Hall reporter Bill Crum took questions from readers in today's OKC Central Live Chat. You can join Steve's Q&As on Fridays at 10 a.m. and submit your questions about the happenings in and around downtown Oklahoma City. Read the complete chat transcript here.

There has been some talk about a MAPS for Neighborhoods for the next MAPS projects. What do you think would/should be included in this to make it attractive to the public and successful?

Bill: Streets, sidewalks, trails, parks, transit. The metro area needs Bus Rapid Transit, commuter rail and/or light rail.

Do you think we need the large increases in police that Shadid is calling for? Don't we have a police force comparable to most other cities our size?

Bill: It's not Shadid or the FOP, if you want to get right down to it. The police chief's update on the 2009 manpower study shows a persistent need for more police officers. Everything I've seen tells me OKC needs more police officers to 1) be proactive in fighting crime and 2) be able to respond in a timely fashion when crime occurs.

What is the truth about police positions? I've heard OKC has added 93 positions since 2003/4 fiscal year. Is that correct?

Bill: The council has added positions each of the last couple of years. With retirements, etc., and two academies a year, the department can add around 40 officers a year. The latest additions should mean official staffing is above 1,000 officers. That's still short of the figure the chief says he needs, by more than 200 officers.

Who has current control of the Melvin Luster House in the Deep Deuce?

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Reporter Sr.
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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by William Crum
Reporter
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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