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Defying Trends In Other Cities, Murders In Tulsa Are Down In 2021

Crime is based on a complex set of factors including how communities perceive law enforcement

Cities the size of Tulsa saw a 31% increase in murder last year, and in some places that trend is continuing in 2021.


So far this year, though, homicides are down in Tulsa. Brandon Watkins is a lieutenant at Tulsa Police Department.


“So far this year we’ve had 24 homicides. Compared to basically the same time last year we were looking at 32. Last year was a particularly bad year,” said Watkins.


Watkins says he isn’t sure why Tulsa has been spared a homicide spike.


“It could be that we’ve been incredibly fortunate. Who knows what the actual answers are. When you start grasping at straws you’re bound to be wrong,” said Watkins. “I really don't have an answer as to why we're low. I just hope it stays that way.”


Tulsa could be looking at an increase in aggravated assaults.


According to data from Tulsa Police Department for just the first three months of 2021, aggravated assaults are up about 6% from early 2020. Data for April onward is not available yet. 


Reasons for the spikes in certain kinds of crime remain a matter of national debate. They range from increased unemployment to record firearm sales for first-time buyers in 2020.