The amount of violent crime in Wichita is on the rise including homicides.
KSN news has obtained this data from Wichita police about the number of homicides each year dating back to 1975.
The year with the most homicides was 1993 at the height of the gang war. 1983 had the least amount of murders with only 14. So far this year, we have seen 37 homicides. That’s the second most in more than a decade.
Police Chief Gordon Ramsay says he can’t just point to one reason as to why crime is up. He says it’s a mixture of many and his department is doing its best to stop the violence.
“We are seeing that a lot of it has to do with a lack of someone having a conscious,” says Chief Ramsay.
In 43 years, since 1975, Wichita has had only nine years with at least 37 homicides. 2018 is one of those years.
“Domestic abuse and assault is a third or fourth of them. Robberies and disputes are another one third or so, and this year, we are seeing an up-tick in gang violence,” says Ramsay.
Chief Ramsay says one reason for the increase in violence, the staggering number of guns on the streets of Wichita. Ramsay told the Citizen Review Board there have been somewhere around 1,000 guns stolen so far this year.
He says his department is currently working with two ATF agents in Wichita. He also said WPD has created a violent crimes Community Response Team. These efforts, according to Chief Ramsay, have had an immediate impact.
“This yea, they have seized over 100 illegal guns and arrested more than 300 violent offenders,” explains Ramsay.
Ramsay says the police department is making efforts to reach out to citizens and talking to residents in several neighborhoods to find solutions to what many consider a city-wide issue.
“We have been meeting with a number of different communities and vendors to talk about how we can work together,” he explains.
Ramsay says they’re also working with the Boys and Girls Club to hire a gang prevention specialist to target youth at risk to join gangs.