Wichita receives community policing grant

Posted: Updated:
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Wichita is receiving a federal grant to fund officers specializing in community policing.

Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall announced the $875,000 grant is part of a $119 million national program to pay for current or new officers. Chief Gordon Ramsay told reporters Tuesday the money will fund one sergeant and six patrol officers, beginning in January.

Ramsay said the community policing approach is one of his goals. "We haven't had a problem filling the vacancies that we've had." The officers will patrol on foot or bicycle, and not ride in cars very often. No specific boundaries for the patrols have been set.

Ramsay said the officers' focus will be on the "Broadway corridor," which was also a focus of Wichita police in the 1990s. He admitted the area has problems with human trafficking, illegal drug sales, assaults, homelessness and mental health issues.

The manager of Artichoke sandwich bar on Broadway in Midtown is looking forward to the officers. "I think it would be nice to have police walking up and down the streets," Michael LeBlanc said. "That way, the other homeless people.... know what's going on, and hopefully it will build back this area."

LeBlanc said north Broadway has become such a bad area that businesses and churches are putting up cast-iron fences for protection. "The Lord's Diner and everything else is giving us a bad name," LeBlanc declared.

Beall will talk about community policing Wednesday at the Kansas Peace Officers' Association conference in west Wichita.

  • NEWSNewsMore>>

  • Rural robbery has neighborhood worried

    Rural robbery has neighborhood worried

    A brazen robbery at  a rural home in Cowley County has a neighborhood worried for their safety. One woman was away from her home only a few hours when robbers struck and why she was away makes the loss even more heartbreaking. Wanda Schwintz returned to her rural Cowley County home with her family on Sunday to make a startling discovery.  "I said look the windows broke. I wonder how the window got broke," said Schwintz.  The robbers tossed the bedrooms, pull...

    A brazen robbery at  a rural home in Cowley County has a neighborhood worried for their safety. One woman was away from her home only a few hours when robbers struck and why she was away makes the loss even more heartbreaking. Wanda Schwintz returned to her rural Cowley County home with her family on Sunday to make a startling discovery.  "I said look the windows broke. I wonder how the window got broke," said Schwintz.  The robbers tossed the bedrooms, pull...

  • Attorney pushes for body cam footage in Sun City man's death

    Attorney pushes for body cam footage in Sun City man's death

    Steven MyersSteven Myers

    Bean bag rounds are used by law enforcement across the country as a "less than lethal" weapon on suspects who resist instructions in tense confrontations. But sometimes, when fired at close range, they can be deadly. 

    Bean bag rounds are used by law enforcement across the country as a "less than lethal" weapon on suspects who resist instructions in tense confrontations. But sometimes, when fired at close range, they can be deadly. 

  • Wichita Police Department motorcycle unit will target drunk drivers

    Wichita Police Department motorcycle unit will target drunk drivers

    The number of DUI arrests in Wichita has dropped by more than 50 percent. Police are taking notice and hope to change that.

    The number of DUI arrests in Wichita has dropped by more than 50 percent. Police are taking notice and hope to change that.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have a photo to share with us? Email it to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE