Police say Riverfest arrests have gone down in last decade

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Storms temporarily shut down Riverfest Wednesday night.

But, event staff and police say so far so good, after wrapping up day six of Wichita’s biggest party.   

A big focus at large events like this is public safety. 

So, while getting to enjoy all the different things Riverfest has to offer, organizers and law enforcement have several different things in place to make sure nothing gets in the way of all the fun.

“I like the ziplining, the helicopter rides, the air balloon rides,” said Riverfest-goer Deporsha Dean.  

With the large crowds, volunteers and others behind the event are making sure everything runs smoothly. 

“Since we’ve started gating, it’s just such a safe environment for families to come down and enjoy it,” said Jennifer Koopmann, co-chair of the volunteer committee.

“Advancement in radios and especially cameras, the surveillance opportunities from a centralized command center,” said Dave Carter, who is also a volunteer.

“It’s a great, great community event, largest event in the state of Kansas,” said Sgt. Kelly O’Brien, of the Wichita Police Department. 

He has been working Riverfest for 22 years and says the event just gets better and safer every year.

“The last three years in a row, arrests have been in the single digit numbers, compared to 10 years ago when those were triple digit numbers,” said O’Brien. 

As of Wednesday night, he says only four arrests have been made since Riverfest kicked off on Friday. 

Festival-goers say they have noticed the additional safety precautions. 

“Back in the early days, it was more of a volunteer. They really stressed you getting a button,” said Wilbur Guymon, a Wichita resident. “But, today it’s button or you don’t come.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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