‘We have to get to crime before it really happens’: Wichita mayor praises new Juvenile Intervention Unit initiative

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police are seeing an increase in crime committed by kids, and now, they are trying to get a handle on it by unveiling a new unit.

“The goal is to get to some of these young people before god-forbid they make a life-changing decision that could ruin their lives or someone else’s,” said Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple.

That’s a trend Mayor Whipple can get behind after 2020 has seen some not so good ones. Like Wichita police releasing four youth-related homicides among an increase of other violent crimes.

“I am glad that we have a forward-thinking police chief who has his ear to the ground of the community to respond in a way where we can provide resources to folks who might be headed down the wrong path,” Whipple said.

The new Juvenile Intervention Unit will be a team of five made up of police and detectives focused specifically on seeking out youth and connecting them to resources for programs like education and treatment to prevent youth from making the same mistakes and support them on a path to success.

“I will tell you this is something I am really excited about because, as I have been pretty open with, I am someone who when I was very young got in trouble with the police and was able to get on a community service program where that intervention was life-changing for me,” said Whipple.

Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said the new unit will be announced at city hall on Tuesday.

“We are concerned about youth involved in illegal behavior and need to improve our rates of recidivism, help our youth and reduce crime,” Chief Gordon Ramsay said. “This newly created team will be investing in Wichita youth to assist them in getting the resources and support to be successful.”

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