Oklahoma City ranks 9th worst for crime

Oklahoma City ranks 9th worst for crime

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

The annual ranking of American cities based on crime statistics puts Oklahoma City as ninth for large cities with the highest crime rate. The study by CQ Press looks at data from the FBI.

"That's not a good list to be on," Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police president John George said.

But the ranking did not surprise him.

Slideshow: see the rest of the top 10 list

"With the amount of officers we have and the population growth, it's not a surprise at all that we're that high on the list," he said.

George blames the poor ranking on the low number of officers in the Oklahoma City Police Department. He said the number of officers has been the same for the past 20 years, although the city grows by about 1,000 people a month.

"You've got to have enough officers throughout the city to fix the problem," George said. "You're really just running for calls of service, 911 calls, answering call after call after call, and you don't really have time to do proactive stuff."

For a city our size, George thinks we need about 1,300 officers. We currently have fewer than 1,000.

He said the City of Oklahoma City is doing more to help solve the problem.

"It's disappointing to hear, but we do know that the Oklahoma City Council is addressing the issue," city spokesperson Kristy Yager said. "Reducing crime is a priority for the city council and they're doing what they can in the budget to address it."

Yager said the new city budget allows for 40 more officers to be added. But it takes time to get recruits through academies and on patrol.

"It's going to take years to get us where we need to be," George said.

In the meantime, he believes Oklahoma City could continue to rank poorly on the list.

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