Volunteer police group sees impact after months of patrolling Arkansas River

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Safety and education is the goal for Wichita’s newest volunteer police group.

On weekends, you can find Lois Kimble driving around a golf cart along the Arkansas River.

“It’s just nice getting out here meeting the people in the city,” said volunteer Lois Kimble.

She is part of a volunteer policing group created by the Wichita Police Department that patrols around the riverfront area. The group was launched back in August with 11 volunteers and has now grown to 18.

“They’re just another set of eyes out on the sidewalks. In case there is an emergency, they will call 911. They’re looking out for graffiti. They’re looking out for just any suspicious behavior,” said Corey Reed, President of the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association.

Within two months, patrols the volunteers have been able to interact with nearly a thousand people. The volunteers cannot give out citations, but they are hoping to pass along information. The group is focusing on educating E-Scooter riders specifically.

“There’s a lot of people out here that don’t know the rules. So if we can share that with them it’s helping and taking a little bit off WPD cause they have bigger fish to fry,” said Reed.

Kimble says they also reach out to the homeless community living alongside the river to get them in contact with resources.

“I met him one day gave him the information. Came back a week later and rode again and he was so thankful. He got food. He got clothing. He was so appreciative,” said Kimble.

WPD Lt. Joe Kennedy says the extra eyes on the river give people a bigger sense of safety.

“That’s what we want. We want everybody to come down along the river and have a good time,” said Kennedy.

As the program grows, they hope to get more volunteers. In order to volunteer, you must go through the Citizens Police Academy.

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