TULSA, Okla - Police say they know it can be frustrating when we don’t get new information every day. But they want the public to know they’re out there 24/7 trying to catch this guy. Today we got our first look at the mobile command post set up to help.
“Every officer out there feels it falls on their shoulders,” said Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan.
He says the 50 volunteer officers and analyst on the task force designed to catch a serial rapist have their sights set on being the one to get to arrest the man terrorizing their city.
“We don’t think he’s a native Tulsan, or at least been in Tulsa for the past 18 months,” says Chief Jordan.
Police say this kind of violence escalates. A rapist doesn’t tend to just start off as a rapist. Their crimes often escalate much slower. Chief Jordan says he doesn’t think that process for this suspect happened here. But in order to stop it, right now they’re stopping anybody they find loitering late at night.
“I mean we’re stopping, we’re talking, interviewing every male. So we’re not going to let someone pass by, sort of speak, if he doesn’t pass our description,” says Officer Leland Ashley.
Police are considering all options, even working with the U.S. Marshals to find out if it could be someone recently released from prison. The Chief says all those resources needed to be coordinated, and that’s where the mobile command post comes in.
“We just noticed the need and desire to have a command post out there that can help monitor all radio traffic and keep us all appraised of what’s going on,” says Chief Jordan.
While police say they’re doing everything they possibly can to catch the rapist, organizations like the Tulsa Day Center want to do their part. Executive Director Sandra Lewis says she’s going to talk to the Homeless Services Network about being aware of new faces.
“And that’s something we do regularly. And while we don’t do background checks on everyone who comes in, we are getting information from people and we are asking questions,” says Lewis.
Lewis says she gets why police have to consider all options, even that the suspect could be a local homeless person. But what she doesn’t want to see is the public jumping to conclusions because they’re scared.
“I was sad to hear that we had jumped to maybe he’s a homeless person just because he smelled bad and his clothes were dirty,” says Lewis.
While she wants to do her part at the day center to stay aware, Lewis says even she can’t shake the fear in her own home. And she, like many other women in town, gets angrier every day she has to be afraid.
“It makes you mad too, I’m sure. I absolutely resent the fact that I am changing the way I live in my home because this creep is out there,” says Lewis.