When Wichita police get calls to unlicensed after-hours establishments, without a warrant, they can’t go inside.
Police Chief Gordon Ramsay says that makes it it difficult to enforce laws and prevent crime.
So, there’s a new proposal to change that.
“They have no rules, no licensing,” said Ramsay. “They pretty much do whatever they want inside. The lack of regulations are dangerous for the people that go there, for the neighbors.”
They’re locations Ramsay says have caused problems in Wichita for several years.
“The sounds of shots fired, the one on Broadway you know, one of the neighbors was telling me she had holes in their roof from gunshots being fired,” he said.
In June, police responded to a shooting at one of the after-hours locations in town, Daiquiri’s, where they say a man died from multiple gunshot wounds inside.
Just a month later, police say a man and woman were injured outside of another after-hours bar.
“I think it’s unacceptable when you have places that are operating outside of the rules and causing people to be hurt,” said James Clendenin, a Wichita city council member. And, that’s what these establishments are doing.”
These after hour spots operate from midnight to usually about four or five in the morning.
Some of them sell alcohol during that time as well as running an unregulated restaurant, police say.
But without a warrant, police can’t enter unless the business agrees.
Ramsay is trying to change that with an ordinance that would require many of them to obtain a license.
“I’m not saying that these are necessarily tied to homicides,” said Cindy Claycomb, a Wichita city council member. “But these things that would go on that are disruptive in neighborhoods and in the community, that are again- they’re doing things that are illegal, in these places. So yes, I think that begins to help with those violent crimes.”
KSN reached out to Daiquiri’s and Lion’s Den and was unable to get in contact with someone from either location.