City Council Considering Adding Fifth Wichita Police Bureau

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When finished, the Intrust Bank Arena is expected to bring in thousands of people into the downtown area. New condos, restaurants and bars are also being built. With more people to soon be in the downtown area, police are preparing for more crime.

Currently, the Wichita Police Department has four bureaus. They want to expand and add a fifth bureau in the downtown area.

In March, Chief Norman Williams proposed adding an additional 92 police personnel to the area. The proposal included building a new police station downtown. Area business owners are in full support.

The Wichita City Council is considering the plan, but said that the price of $10 million is steep.

"This is a proposal that is going to have be worked into the budget and it
will probably change before it's a done deal," said Sharon Fearey, City Council Member.

Since the arena won't open until 2010, the plan will likely not be voted on during this budget year.

"We've got some time, the city council has time to think about it carefully," said Interim City Manager Ed Flentje.

City leaders said they may consider charging a tax for people attending arena events to pay for part of the proposal.

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