Oklahoma : Safety by City
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Tecumseh, Oklahoma, is named after the legendary Shawnee chief, Tecumseh, who emerged from the Land Run of 1891, a pivotal era of homesteading and westward expansion.
With a population of approximately 6,300, Tecumseh exudes a small-town atmosphere, offering a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of larger cities.
Yet, it remains conveniently situated just 40 miles east of Oklahoma City, providing easy access to metropolitan amenities and cultural attractions.
Tecumseh’s charm lies in its blend of past and present.
The city’s historic downtown boasts a collection of preserved buildings, including the former Pottawatomie County Courthouse, now serving as Tecumseh City Hall.
These structures stand as testaments to the city’s resilience and enduring spirit.
Beyond its historical significance, Tecumseh embraces its Native American heritage, particularly its ties to the Shawnee tribe.
The Tecumseh Indian Cultural Center showcases artifacts and exhibits that chronicle the region’s rich indigenous history, offering visitors a glimpse into the lives and traditions of the Shawnee people.
The Pottawatomie River winds through the city, providing opportunities for fishing, kayaking, or simply enjoying the tranquil scenery.
The nearby Shawnee National Forest offers a haven for hiking, camping, and enjoying the beauty of the Oklahoma landscape.
Fair warning – most of the things to do in Tecumseh are not IN Tecumseh but nearby.
Warnings & Dangers in Tecumseh
OVERALL RISK: LOW
Tecumseh has a low overall risk, as crime rates are much lower than most averages in the state.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
The only transit here is geared toward locals who need to go shopping or get to work. It's not a traditional fixed route system. Taxis and rideshares would most likely be coming from the larger city of Shawnee. It just might mean a longer wait time. Having a rental car is the best and safest option.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
Two pickpockets were reported in 2022. Over the past five years, just nine have been reported. It's still a low risk, but for a city this small, it's enough to warrant using the standard personal property protection you would in a big city.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
This medium risk is due to year-round weather issues. The most notable potential disaster is a tornado. The severe thunderstorms that accompany tornadoes are also very dangerous. Winter can bring ice storms and blizzard conditions. You must stay aware of the weather forecast and risks when you visit Oklahoma.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
Muggings are almost unheard of here. Just two robberies have happened since 2018, and neither was a mugging.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
This is another low risk, as it's such a small town. It's also a bit too far from Oklahoma City to be considered part of that risk area. It is on the eastern side of the OKC metro area, as is Tinker Air Force Base. That means you might see some military planes flying in and out.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
Tourists likely won't have to deal with any scams or panhandlers, but you can always check city and local law enforcement social media sites to be sure. You can learn common scam tactics in America through the Federal Trade Commission website.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
This is another low risk. Women have no reason to be at a higher risk of being crime victims. However, there's so little to do in Tecumseh that I'd recommend going to Shawnee to have more options.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
If you want to see the latest water quality report, call (405)598- 2188. It appears they stopped posting them online in 2020. American cities are held to high water quality standards with regular and routine testing done. The risk is low. Even if an issue arises, the emergency notification systems would get the message out.
Safest Places to Visit in Tecumseh
There isn’t an official tourism website for Tecumseh.
However, you can check out VisitShawnee.com to get a tourism website that is close to Tecumseh.
The two cities are just five miles apart.
To help give you enough options, I’m going to cover places to visit in both cities.
The Tecumseh Historical Society does have a museum housed in a building that’s more than a century old.
You can see exhibits and artifacts from the town’s history.
The Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art houses a collection of over 7,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.
The museum is also home to the only Egyptian mummies on display in Oklahoma.
Visit the Santa Fe Depot.
This historic depot was built in 1902 and served as a passenger rail station for many years.
The depot is now home to a museum that tells the story of the railroad in Shawnee.
Take a drive through the Shawnee Twin Lakes Reservoir area.
This area is home to two large lakes, as well as several parks and recreation areas.
Visitors can go fishing, boating, swimming, or hiking in the area.
Explore the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center, which tells the story of the Potawatomi people from their origins to the present day.
Visitors can learn about the tribe’s history, culture, and language.
A walk around Oklahoma Baptist University is another idea.
While you’re there, check out the only nationally accredited arboretum in Oklahoma.
More than 300 trees covering 143 species span across 220 acres.
A special stop is the seedling of the Oklahoma City Bombing Survivor’s Tree.
Shawnee also has St. Gregory’s Abbey dating back to 1876.
It’s a Roman Catholic community of Benedictine monks.
Tours are available by appointment.
I don’t know if I should put Tecumseh Lake in the places to visit or places to avoid, so I’ll tuck it right here to let you decide.
The lake is just three miles from Tecumseh.
It’s mostly a fishing lake, and it’s not very scenic.
Plus, the town’s water treatment plant is there.
Anglers especially love this location, but there are far bigger lakes to explore in the region.
Places to Avoid in Tecumseh
Honestly, I’d be more likely to recommend that you stay in Shawnee and drive to Tecumseh.
There aren’t a lot of hotels here.
In fact, I can only find one.
There aren’t bad parts of town in Tecumseh, but the city isn’t that big, so you don’t have much choice but to drive through the entire town.
I would suggest staying out of private neighborhoods if you don’t know anyone there.
Also, a lot of the neighborhoods don’t have great roads.
In most cases, there aren’t even sidewalks.
Stick to the main roads through town.
If you’re just looking for a place that’s close to OKC without being in the city, I’d also recommend Moore or Norman.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Tecumseh
- Tecumseh has its own police department. You can follow them on Facebook @TecumsehPolice. Call the main office at (405)598-2115 to ask specific safety questions. You can also email the police chief at email@example.com.
- Use Smart911 to sign up for emergency alerts, including public safety threats and severe weather. You’ll need to sign up through the Shawnee option, but you’ll still get alerts in Tecumseh.
- Tecumseh has a program called Blackboard Connect. This covers power outages, water main breaks, and any closures due to weather. The sign-up link is on the city’s website.
- Since there are so many cities named Tecumseh in this section of the country, you should know that the Facebook page for Oklahoma’s Tecumseh is @cityoftecumsehok. They provide great safety and event information there too.
- Use the OK Traffic website to get road condition information across the state. The map displays real-time traffic, road conditions, weather impacts, construction zones, and live cameras.
- Any road with the name “Turnpike” means it’s a toll road in Oklahoma. Check out the PikePass website for more information about turnpike locations, costs, and how to pay.
- You should review emergency management plans through the city and/or county to learn about the safety precautions for different weather events. If you’ve never been to a place where tornadoes are common, you should know the difference between a watch and a warning. Also, ask your hotel where the storm shelter is when you check-in.
- Winter weather here is rarely deep snow, but it can be just as dangerous with ice storms or sleet covering the roads. If an ice storm is approaching, get all the supplies you need for a day or two and stay hunkered down.
- Anglers need a fishing license from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. You can purchase that license online. A digital copy will be emailed to you, and you can save that as proof of your license. Just be sure to keep your mobile device charged while you’re fishing.
- If you have any issues while you’re here with power or water outages, call (405)598-2189 to report it. Providing that information can help utility workers see how broad the problem is and better be able to fix it.
So... How Safe Is Tecumseh Really?
Usually, when I’m detailing a small town like Tecumseh, I have to explain that the crime rates look much higher than they are due to the low population.
Crime data has to be adjusted to “per 100,000 residents.”
That can make the results a bit skewed.
I don’t have to do that in Tecumseh because crime rates, even when calculated to the national average, are still low.
Violent crime rates are less than half the state and national averages.
In 2022, all but one violent crime was committed in a private home.
Looking back five years, strangers have just a 13% chance of being a victim.
Then we look at robberies, with just two reported in 2022, and not a single other reported going back to 2018.
Theft is almost 20% lower than the national average, with the bulk of thefts related to the “Other” category, which can mean anything from stolen equipment at a construction site to something taken from a backyard.
Even the car break-in rates are at least half the number I see in most cities.
Just 12 happened in 2022.
Because of the low crime rates, there isn’t a lot of information out there on the news sites.
When sensational headlines happen, you’ll see it repeatedly, but it also makes the city look more crime-ridden than it is.
You shouldn’t let your guard down even when a city is deemed safe.
Use common sense and standard precautions to enjoy Tecumseh.
Now is it REALLY fun?
I guess you’ll have to decide that based on the information provided.
It’s just not very exciting.
How Does Tecumseh Compare?
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For international visitors, obtaining a visa or a visa waiver is a prerequisite for entry into the country. The U.S. State Department's website offers a comprehensive guide to check your eligibility for a visa waiver. Make sure your passport is valid for at least the next six months from your departure date.
Only the U.S. Dollar is accepted here. You won't have a currency exchange option at the OKC airport, but you can find banks around town that can help if you're a member. Your home bank will have the lowest fees.
This part of Oklahoma gets four robust seasons, which makes it fairly easy to pack. Add a few layers of sweatshirts and short-sleeved shirts for the changes in temperatures, as the Midwest is known for having "winter" one day and "spring" the next. Bug spray is important from late spring through early fall.
Tecumseh is 47 miles from Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City. That should take 50 minutes without traffic, but always add more time if you're traveling during the rush hours.
If traveling anywhere that weather could interfere with your agenda, travel insurance is highly recommended. Secure medical insurance if your current plan is limited to your home country. Check rental car coverage to see what coverage you have for accidents, weather damage, and roadside assistance needs.
Tecumseh Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Oklahoma - Safety by City