Oklahoma : Safety by City
- Broken Arrow
- Broken Bow
- El Reno
- Elk City
- Midwest City
- Oklahoma City
Nestled in the scenic foothills of the Ozark Mountains just southeast of Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma is a charming city with a rich history and a vibrant cultural scene.
Its name, derived from a Creek legend about a broken arrow found in the area, signifies a spirit of resilience and perseverance that has shaped the city’s identity.
Originally home to the Creek and Osage tribes, Broken Arrow became a bustling railroad town in the late 19th century, attracting a diverse population of entrepreneurs, laborers, and adventurers.
Today, it stands as a thriving community with a strong sense of community pride, evident in its well-maintained neighborhoods, thriving businesses, and numerous community events.
Broken Arrow is home to the world’s largest concrete horse statue, the iconic “Mustangs of Broken Arrow” sculpture stands as a symbol of the city’s spirit and pride.
The city’s rich cultural landscape is showcased through its annual events like the Oklahoma Mozart International Music Festival and the Broken Arrow Rose Festival.
Broken Arrow appeals to a wide range of travelers, including history buffs, outdoor lovers, families, retired people, and foodies.
It’s not the most exciting suburb, but it does make a good impression with its community events and local attractions in a safe place.
Broken Arrow should not be confused with the town of Broken Bow, which is 200 miles south.
We have a separate article on Broken Bow to review.
Warnings & Dangers in Broken Arrow
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low risk in Broken Arrow, but we'll discuss some more pressing safety concerns as we go. Keep in mind this is a suburban area, so things to do will fall along those lines. Still, you won't get bored visiting for a few days.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
Check the Tulsa Transit website and routes that cover Broken Arrow to see if that suits your needs. Taxis and rideshares are easy to find, and rental cars can be reserved at the airport or an in-town location. There's a low risk with any option.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
Five pickpockets or purse snatchings were reported in 2022, which isn't anything to lose sleep over. However, shoplifting and car break-ins are the top theft categories. That means there are people capable of stealing and seizing a crime of opportunity. Don't let that happen. Keep your purse/wallet small and concealed, and limit what you carry to bare necessities.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
This medium risk is more for the power of potential storms and not the ongoing risk of disasters. Broken Arrow is in Tornado Alley, one of the most frequent spots in America for tornadoes to form. The storms do come with plenty of advance notice, but you should know basic tornado and severe thunderstorm safety. Winter weather is less frequent but awful when it does happen since ice storms are most common. That can shut down interstates and knock out power.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
Robbery rates have plunged almost by half since 2016. They are also 78% lower than the national average. What that says is there's a low risk of getting mugged, and people are more likely to steal your stuff when left unattended or exposed and not by force.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
As a suburban area, there's little to no risk of an international terrorism incident. However, mass shootings and domestic terrorism can happen anywhere at any time. The only way you can help is to report suspicious activity as you see it. Review the Terrorism Advisory Bulletin of Homeland Security at any time to see the latest threats.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
Scams here largely target residents, and the police department does a great job of reporting common or new scams on its Facebook page. The risk is low, but keep it that way by knowing the common signs of scams. The Better Business Bureau is a great place to start.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Statistically, there's nothing to indicate women are at a higher risk. Domestic violence is an issue here, which lowers the risk for a traveler when you look at the stats. It's also a fun place for a family, girlfriend getaway, or solo travelers, but activities are more focused on families and community than vibrant nightlife or major attractions. It's a popular place for retired people.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The 2023 Water Quality Report shows no violations and full compliance with all Safe Water Drinking Act Standards. You should feel safe drinking or using tap water in most American cities because of the strict requirements. If there are any issues, the city will send notices on the website and social media.
Safest Places to Visit in Broken Arrow
VisitBrokenArrowOK.com is the official tourism site for the region.
You’ll find a blog that’s more updated than most websites I see, a list of maps for the region, and a regularly updated Facebook page @VisitBrokenArrow.
Broken Arrow proudly states that it is a “Veteran-Friendly City,” and that includes eight memorials at Veterans Park to pay tribute and the Military History Center to learn more about the military history of the region.
Dive deeper into general history at the Museum Broken Arrow (the history museum).
You’ll uncover fascinating stories about the city’s development, early settlers, and pivotal events that shaped the area.
There’s a special focus on the Broken Arrow Muscogee Indigenous People.
The core of the city is the Rose District, with the traditional charming downtown and unique shops and eateries along the way.
This is also a focal point for activities like holiday events, summer concerts, and farmer’s markets.
The district has its own tourism website at RoseDistrict.com.
If you’re in the mood for outdoor exploration, Ray Harral Nature Park is a serene escape.
Take a stroll along its picturesque trails, bask in the beauty of nature, and spot diverse wildlife.
Nearby, Haikey Creek Park offers fantastic recreational opportunities with its disc golf course, playgrounds, and lovely picnic spots.
Outdoor lovers should know that Broken Arrow is home to a Bass Pro Shop.
While it’s a franchise across the country, it’s also a destination store with any outdoor item you can think of, but also filled with wildlife displays, fishing holes, and usually a stuffed bear somewhere around the store.
This last thing sort of goes between the two headers here – as it’s an “up and coming” neighborhood but, as of this publication, isn’t quite as dynamic – yet.
However, follow @NewOrleansSquareBrokenArrow on Facebook to see the revitalization happening at New Orleans Square near New Orleans and Elm Streets.
Places to Avoid in Broken Arrow
The crime rates in Broken Arrow are highest on the northwest side of the city as you get closer to Tulsa.
While I wouldn’t consider any neighborhood here “too dangerous,” there are gangs in the greater Tulsa metro region.
It is wise advice to stick to highways and main roads instead of driving through neighborhoods at random.
Please don’t visit Broken Arrow or Oklahoma without knowing the difference between tornado watches and warnings or severe thunderstorm rankings.
The National Weather Service has many tools to help with this.
You can also check the emergency management website to see when tornado siren testing is done.
It’s usually on the same day of every month.
For example, where I live, it’s 10 am on the first Monday of every month.
If you don’t know when the testing is being done, you could necessarily panic due to the loud sound.
If it’s not regular testing, and you hear a siren – even if the weather is calm where you are – head inside to a safe place.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Broken Arrow
- Broken Arrow has its own police department. It’s easy to contact them; just call (918) 259-8400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask any specific safety questions. They are also on Facebook @brokenarrowpolice.
- Sign up for OK-WARN alerts through the similarly named website. You can’t afford to miss severe weather warnings here. I once accidentally locked myself outside of work during a tornado warning, and it was one of the scariest moments of my life.
- If severe weather is in the forecast, always look for a covered place to park. This region can get “Gorilla Hail,” which is up to baseball-sized hail (and even larger). It can easily smash a windshield. Parking garages are among the safest places to park a car in a storm.
- Winter visitors should review the emergency management plan on the city’s website. This area is more prone to ice storms than snow storms. I remember once hearing on the police scanners that “every hill in Tulsa is closed” during a sudden storm. Tulsa is also much more hilly than you might expect. Driving on ice is nearly impossible.
- If you are involved in a car accident, even a minor one, you can easily get a copy of that report 48 hours after the accident. This documentation is important for your insurance company. The form to download is on the department’s website.
- Look up the PikePass routes online before you visit Tulsa and Broken Arrow. When I first moved there, I was amazed at how a toll-free road suddenly turned into a toll road. Technology allows you to go through a toll booth without a pass, but you will get a bill in the mail. You can also pay for tolls as you go, and that information is on the PikePass website.
- Any fishing activity requires a license from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Out-of-state residents will pay a little more. You should carry a copy of that license or a digital snapshot with you at all times while fishing.
- The single biggest reason cars get broken into in Broken Arrow is people leaving cars unlocked or even leaving the keys inside. That’s a pretty easy risk to avoid if you don’t do that. Don’t leave valuables in the vehicle, and remove even the smallest cords for mobile devices when you aren’t in the vehicle.
- Broken Arrow Police post crime statistics on their Facebook page each month. This is a great way to keep up with the changing trends. There isn’t any crime data on the department’s website, so social media is your best option to get this data.
- Oklahoma, and especially Broken Arrow in 2023, has a huge problem with domestic violence. While you never want to get in the middle of a domestic fight, you can help by calling the police to handle the situation. You might just be saving a life.
So... How Safe Is Broken Arrow Really?
Broken Arrow’s crime rates can be all over the place year to year, and the latest snapshot we have of official data is from 2022.
However, a trend in 2023 is worth mentioning.
Let’s start with the violent crime rate for 2022 – it was about 60% lower compared to state and national averages. Robberies are down 47% since 2016.
Before 2022, the city hadn’t had more than five homicides since at least 2000.
By July 2023, eight homicides had been reported.
What we can tell from data, police interviews, and news reports is that visitors and tourists aren’t the main targets for violent crime.
In fact, just 15% of crimes in 2022 were against strangers, and a whopping 71% happened in private homes.
The big problem brewing is domestic violence.
“There are two situations this year alone that have dealt with a violent domestic situation.
We don’t have random crimes that turn violent in this city.
This is a primarily safe city,” said Ethan Hutchins of Broken Arrow Police.
As far as thefts, one-third were related to shoplifting, and another third was tied to car break-ins and accessory thefts.
Car thefts are down 58% since a high in 2019 when an average of 10 cars a week were stolen.
Now, that number is down to an average of four per week.
The theft rate is still 10% lower than the national average and down 20% since 2018.
I’ve seen reports that rank Broken Arrow anywhere from the 11th safest city in America to the 111th.
The rankings will change each year because of the abrupt changes in crime patterns.
While all that might seem like a lot of data, here’s what is most important – use common sense, lock your car doors, keep your home/hotel windows and doors locked at all times, and report anything suspicious you see.
Broken Arrow, even with its faults, is still a safer city compared to Tulsa on many accounts.
How Does Broken Arrow Compare?
|New York City
|Santiago de Chile (Chile)
To enter the country, international travelers must obtain either a visa or a visa waiver. You can check your eligibility for a visa waiver by visiting the U.S. State Department website. Be sure your passport isn't within six months of expiring.
The Oklahoma airports don't offer foreign currency exchange. You can try a local branch of a bank if you're already a customer. ATMs should also be able to dispense currency in the U.S. Dollar. Limit how much cash you carry, anyway. Credit cards and mobile payments are widely accepted.
Plan for windy conditions throughout the year. Fall and spring can fluctuate in temperatures. You'll want winter clothing but don't usually need to layer up too much. During the warmer months, bring bug spray and sunscreen.
Tulsa International Airport is about 20 minutes from Broken Arrow, and it's a pretty straight shot up a highway to get there. For those flying out of Oklahoma City, plan for about two hours on the road.
Comprehensive travel insurance is a wise investment. Be sure to get coverage for a rental car since storms can cause hail damage, and you'll want roadside assistance. No free healthcare is available in America. It's important to get supplemental insurance as even a sprained ankle can cost up to $1000 out of pocket.
Broken Arrow Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
|Temperature / Month
Oklahoma - Safety by City