Anna’s Comments At Press Conference Unveiling 5-Pt. “Protect The Police” Initiative

Thank you all for being here today in the rain.  Rain our shine our officers
are there for us, so today we stand here for them rain or shine.

Our great police force is so over-worked in this city, and what thanks do
they get for putting their lives on the line daily? They get put in the
middle of a political and divisive battle.

The real solution is to come alongside our community heroes with literally
hundreds of new volunteers and resources to help turn around the lives of
those trapped in the drug and alcohol cycle who honestly want a way out.

The only sector of our community that has the magnitude and fortitude to put
together special community outreaches to help juveniles on the brink and
those addicted to drugs and alcohol is the church. 

When I recently asked a Tulsa police sergeant how churches could best help,
he said to develop alternate programming for juvenile delinquents, who need
a change of environment to get out of this downward spiral. Most important,
he said, was for the churches to accept each youth as if they were one of
their own.

Tulsa’s churches, if invited into City Hall in force, could transform our
City’s brokenness by helping mentor before real problems arise. This in turn
reduces police, courts and juvenile costs, and sees lives transformed.

Our police officers deserve this kind of support!

The Protect the Police Initiative will help the police do their jobs without
interruption.  It consists of 5 key components:

1.      Protect the Police by protecting their budget by lowering associated
costs that can free up funds for direct police action.

Some of these savings can be summed up in the next 2 points.

2.      Protect the Police by transforming public drunks who have to be
locked up and released over and over again hundreds of times over the years.

2008 saw 3722 arrests for public drunkenness  and to date in 09 1,957.
Today we are joined by Steven my friend who has  a 10 page report back to
1996 (that’s as far back as computer records would go) outlining his
experience with the police due to public drunkenness and the many issues
that go along with that.  For the last 16 months Steven has had no issues
with the police because he has a church walking beside he is discovering his
purpose and he is now in a leadership role helping others walk through the
same things he has with a local Celebrate Recovery Group, meeting at First
United Methodist Church.  What a blessing he is to our community – A life
transformed from poverty to purpose — I am proud to call Steven my friend.

3.      Protect the Police by transforming juveniles who are being arrested
over and over again only to be freed to their parents.

In 2008 there were 1,423 arrests of juveniles and just from Jan – June,
there have already been 1,201 arrests.  A local church we work with brings
15 youth 3 times per week to the church for activities and fellowship from
Apache Manor complex.  They are opening their church doors for a game room
and refreshments for evenings and after school activities.  Another church
has planted a community garden and is designing a pizza kitchen and
basketball courts to provide a safe and positive environment for youth in
North Tulsa.

4.      Protect the Police by asking churches, civic groups and businesses
to raise funds to pay for each cop’s equipment through an adopt-a-cop
Police are required to purchase some of their own equipment, nearly $1,000
of out-of-pocket expense.

5.      Protect the Police by prayer through the adopt-a-cop initiative.
This I believe is the most important to partner police officers and their
families with churches who will pray for their safety and success.

Citizens doing our part to protect those who protect us.


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