WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police were called to three different shootings over the weekend. With the beginning of the summer just around the corner, some fear the violence could get worse.
Wichita Police Department Interim Chief Lem Moore said the Juvenile Intervention Team will be out this summer making connections with teens, but he learned already in his time that it is going to take more to cut down on teen violence in the community.
“I really ask, I almost beg parents, to take that active role in dealing and reaching out to their children,” said Moore.
He said it’s time for parents to take a more active role in their kid’s life before it is too late.
“Taking a life is something that it is hard to recover from emotionally and physically and throughout your life and life continuance,” said Moore.
Moore said teenagers committing violent crimes is up over the past 18 months. He said it’s getting easier for them to get their hands on a gun.
“A juvenile can walk around at two, three, four in the morning, break into a vehicle, and pretty much six out of every 10 vehicles that are out there, they are going to come up with a handgun,” said Moore.
He asks gun owners to keep their weapons in their homes and lock them away, and parents to check their kid’s belongings for guns and drugs.
“I know privacy is very important to young people to teenagers, but privacy and respect is also earned, so parents, I ask and encourage that they step up and engage,” said Moore.
Moore is also working with federal partners and calling on community leaders to get teens involved in positive activities. He said while this was a violent weekend, crime is down in Wichita compared to last year.