Wichita Police focus on crime fighting initiatives

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The Wichita Police Department is focusing on a two-pronged approach to fight crime in the city.

"Enforcement is one of it. A lot people just say, 'If the police arrested more people or did more,' but it can't be just about police We need to involve the community. The kids need opportunities to do different things," said Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay.

From January 1  to June 13, there have been 368 reports of aggravated assaults with firearms. During this same period last year, it was 320 reports.

"In an effort to reduce the violence, we want to make sure that youth have a place to be that is safe and where they can't get into trouble," said Ramsay.

Thus, Ramsay proposed a two approaches to fighting crime. First, collaborations with community groups that provide opportunities for youth, such as the Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCA. Second, create a "Violent Crime Task Force" that focuses on violent offenders who commit crimes with weapons such as aggravated batteries, aggravated assaults, drive-by shootings, and robberies.

"We know that when we get violent people that have guns and drugs, we can get them off the streets, we can prevent more violent crime," said Ramsay.

While the task force focuses on crime that is occurring, community groups are focusing on preventing the crime from happening in the first place.

"It feels good to know that we're identifying that issue and then providing them with the solution in a way to come out of that problem or to prevent them from going down the wrong path," said Juston White, executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas.

White and other community leaders have been meeting with the Wichita Police Department to identify ways to bring organizations together and continue to provide alternatives for youth.

"Preventative measures is always a positive for me. No one wants to have a loved one lost or hear the news of someone in the community being a victim of a drive-by," said White.

Violent Crime Task Force Results (May 6 to June 12)

  • 134 cases generated
  • 109 arrests
  • 153 gang contacts
  • 44 guns seized 
  • 6.25 oz marijuana seized
  • 26 doses ecstasy seized
  • 19.5 gm crack seized
  • 1.2 oz heroine seized
  • 4 lbs cocaine seized
  • 2.15 lbs methamphetamine seized
  • 25 doses xanax seized
  • 1 dose oxycodone seized

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