Oklahoma : Safety by City
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- El Reno
- Elk City
- Midwest City
- Oklahoma City
Owasso, Oklahoma, sits in the northeast corner of the hills and verdant landscapes of Oklahoma.
It’s just 20 minutes northeast of Tulsa.
Owasso’s history is deeply intertwined with the Osage Nation, who resided in the area long before the arrival of European settlers.
In 1870, the opening of the Kansas and Pacific Railroad spurred the town’s growth, transforming it into a bustling agricultural hub.
This is small-town living in America’s Heartland at its finest.
It’s tucked away from the traffic of I-44 but still has plenty of hotels for a town this size on the Owasso Expressway.
You won’t find a lot of things to do if you’re looking for big tourist attractions, but you will find a safe, welcoming community that is more excited about local events than building the “next big tourism draw.”
Owasso also offers easy access to the massive Oologah Lake, and the birthplace of Will Rogers still sits on its shores.
Overall, Owasso is a great introduction to the state of Oklahoma.
Warnings & Dangers in Owasso
OVERALL RISK: LOW
The risk is low, with crime rates half the national and state averages. It's also not the most exciting city, but that might be just what you're looking for to relax.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
Pelivan Transit (not a typo) is the name of the public transportation here. It's a new system and not very robust, but you can look at the city's website to see if it meets your needs. Cabs and rideshares will be available, though not as much as in larger cities. A rental car is your best option. All choices are a low risk.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
The risk is low, with no pickpockets or purse snatchings reported over the past five years. Don't rely on that data, however. Still, use personal safety steps as if you were in a higher-risk city.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
Oklahoma is known for being in "Tornado Alley," which gets the worst storms in spring. However, severe weather can happen from spring through fall. Winter can also bring some severe weather, but there's a good chance for at least a few snow storms or ice storms. The medium risk here is due to the potential severity and frequency of storms year-round.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
Muggings are rare here, with just three robberies in 2022 and only two in 2021. Just one of those was a mugging. The risk is low, but keep it that way by following common sense rules of not walking around late at night or wearing flashing objects.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
Owasso is a more remote small town, and there's no reason to worry about international terrorism here. At the same time, you can read the Terrorism Advisory Bulletin from Homeland Security to see the latest risks of domestic terrorism. If you're worried about mass shootings in America, there's no way to plan around that - they can happen anywhere, generally in a place where "We never thought it would happen here."
SCAMS RISK: LOW
Scams here are highly focused on the trusting and kind people of small-town Oklahoma. You don't have too much to worry about with this in Owasso, but it's always smart to check the social media sites and the Better Business Bureau website to see what scams are trending.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women have the same low risk as everyone else, with low crime rates and a safe, family-friendly community. If you're looking for an exciting town for a bachelorette party, this isn't the place.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
All U.S. cities are required to submit an annual water quality report to show compliance with the Safe Water Drinking Act. The 2022 report from Owasso shows full compliance and no violations.
Safest Places to Visit in Owasso
The TravelOK website has a section for Owasso, but there are limited things to do in this town of 38,000 people.
The best way to find activities, events, or new attractions is by looking at the city’s website under “Community.”
One of the biggest events to draw in tourists is the Owasso Redbud Festival, held annually in spring to celebrate the blooming of the redbud trees in the city.
The festival typically takes place in April and features a variety of activities, including live music, food vendors, arts and crafts booths, and a children’s area.
The Owasso Historical Museum is a great place to learn about the history of the region and find out why its name means “The end of the road.”
It is housed in a 1928 grocery store.
For those visiting around the holiday season, check out Owasso Christmas Tree and Berry Farm.
You can pick your own berries and walk among the Christmas tree selection.
This farm is particularly known for its excellent blackberries.
Airtopia Adventure Park is a great place for a rainy day or even a cold winter spell.
This indoor park includes arcades, rope obstacles, rock climbing walls, and all kinds of fun, adrenaline-filled options.
Food and drinks are offered, and there’s a special section for toddlers.
Owasso is also just seven miles from the Tulsa Zoo, The Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium, and Oxley Nature Center, all in or near Mohawk Park.
Places to Avoid in Owasso
Owasso doesn’t really have places to avoid.
There aren’t dangerous parts of town or neighborhoods where you’ll run into trouble.
You still want to stick to surface streets and highways to get around.
Cutting through the neighborhoods could make people suspicious of you!
It’s important to note that safety in Owasso does not hold beyond the city boundaries.
In fact, Tulsa is one of the most dangerous cities in the country.
It’s important in Oklahoma to check each city you’ll be visiting for safety guidance.
We have a robust list here on this website.
One of the reasons Owasso has grown 32% in the past decade is because people want to get away from the crime in Tulsa and enjoy a safer place and higher quality of life.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Owasso
- Owasso has its own police department. You can follow them on Facebook by searching “Owasso Police Department.” The non-emergency line is (918)272-2244 if you have specific questions you’d like to ask.
- You’ll want to confirm your mobile device as Weather Emergency Alerts (WEA) enabled, as this is the best way to warnings about severe weather. You can read the emergency management plan with a slew of storm safety tips, from winter weather to tornado shelters. If you’re going into the wilderness, get a NOAA weather radio so you don’t miss alerts outside the mobile range.
- Owasso has “traffic-calming devices” around the city, especially near schools and in neighborhoods. These are speed bumps that can do damage to your car if you aren’t going at or below the speed limit. Keep an eye out for these and always drive at the speed limit.
- You’ll most likely need a PikePass to drive on the turnpike. I-44 is a turnpike, and it starts at the Oklahoma/Missouri border and runs through Oklahoma City. The PikePass website has all the information you need, and any rental car should come with a PikePass installed.
- Owasso is a commuter town to Tulsa, so plan your travel with that in mind. The start and end of the workday can lead to congestion on the surface streets and highways. The busiest times will be around 8am and 5pm. The turnpike has limited services, so make sure you have enough gas and use the restroom before you enter.
- Anglers need a fishing license from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Even boating and hunting have specific requirements. Review the Licensing System FAQ on the department’s website to make sure you’re in compliance when doing outdoor activities.
- This part of Oklahoma has more hills than you’d expect, especially since the state has a reputation for being flat. Even when there’s a little snow or ice on the roadways, it can be hard to navigate. An all-wheel drive vehicle is preferred in the winter. If an ice storm is approaching, I highly recommend you get everything you need to bunker down for a few days.
- The city’s website has a section called “Report a Concern.” This is a one-stop shop to report issues from potholes to suspicious criminal activity. A special form is available if a streetlight is out. I know you’re just visiting, but any reporting of safety issues helps everyone.
- The area around Owasso has a lot of farms. Don’t ever go onto private property or interact with animals on farmland. It’s just the same as you wouldn’t walk into a private mansion and start looking around. Even if nobody is around, you should still respect property lines. Agriculture is the lifeline of this community.
- Look at the Notify Me section on the city’s website and choose which notifications you want to receive. You can skip all the city council meetings and agenda updates. I’d recommend all the topics under Alert Center. The police News Flash is another good choice. If you want to get alerts about events, there is a category for that too.
So... How Safe Is Owasso Really?
I lived in Tulsa for a few years, and Owasso was always considered one of the safer towns nearby.
I’m happy to tell you that it still is.
Even Smart Asset reported the safest cities in Oklahoma, and Owasso came in fourth.
The violent crime rate here is less than half the national and state averages.
Almost half of the crimes that do happen here are in private homes.
27% of violent crimes involved strangers, so there’s still that reminder that no town is safe enough to let your guard down.
2021 and 2022 saw low robbery rates, with just 2-3 reported, as noted above.
Before that, the rates were four times higher starting in 2018.
Time will tell if the lower robbery rate is the new standard or just a fluke.
Either way, it’s not a big safety concern for your trip.
Theft rates are 10% lower than the national average, with shoplifting fueling a hefty 44% of that.
Car break-ins were next at 31%.
That’s likely due to people leaving cars unlocked because they feel their community is safe enough to do so.
In fact, across the nation, the #1 reason for cars being broken into is that they are either unlocked, have the keys inside, were left running, or valuables were in plain sight.
An average of six cars are stolen each month, which goes back to the simple act of locking your car, which can lower your risk.
Owasso Police recently added license plate readers to their crime-fighting arsenal.
This helps track down vehicles suspected of being involved in a crime.
“About 60 percent of the people we arrest in town don’t live here,” Owasso Deputy Chief Jason Woodruff said.
“We’re hoping to cut down on some of that criminal element that’s coming into town that if they know that if you drive through Owasso in a stolen car there’s a very high likelihood there’s going to be a patrol car behind you at some point.”
Overall, Owasso is safe.
Now is it fun to visit?
It’s up to you to decide based on what we’ve told you.
How Does Owasso Compare?
|Hong Kong (China)
To enter the country, international travelers are required to obtain a visa or a visa waiver. The U.S. State Department website provides detailed information on eligibility for a visa waiver and the type of visa you'll need (tourist, student, worker, etc.)
Only the U.S. Dollar is accepted in Oklahoma and any other state in the country. Tulsa's airport does not have a foreign currency exchange. You can use some ATMs to get cash, but your home bank will offer the lowest fees.
The region gets a robust four seasons, so pack accordingly. At the same time, the weather can fluctuate from cold weather one day and warm weather the next, especially in spring and fall. Pack layers of clothing to have various options. Don't forget bug spray when temperatures are above 50 °F.
Owasso is just nine miles from Tulsa International Airport, making it the closest and largest option nearby. Will Rogers World Airport is two hours southwest.
Any destination with unpredictable weather that could disrupt travel plans warrants travel insurance. Ensure you also have health coverage in the U.S. If not, consider supplemental health insurance. Review rental car insurance provisions so you know you're protected if there's a crash or breakdown on the road. Roadside assistance coverage is worth it because of how much help it offers in case of an emergency.
Owasso Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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Oklahoma - Safety by City