WICHITA, Kan (KSNW) – Wichita police started a series of community talks on Wednesday. The goal is to create a better relationship with the public.
Alberto Dominguez is the owner of a local tire shop, he said over the past two years his shop was robbed multiple times and he lost about $7,000 in supplies. He doesn’t feel like the police have been able to help him.
“I just call them and explain this happen to me, and then, police never show up it’s just small cases,” said Dominguez.
Dominguez said in the past when he had needed help from the police, they weren’t available. He said many of his friends feel the same way.
“The Hispanic community friends I know say, ‘no it’s just better to leave it that way they are not going to do anything’ so that is the mentality we got,” said Dominguez.
At a community discussion with the Young Latino Professionals, Wichita Police Department Deputy Chief Jose Salcido said typically Hispanics do not call for help until it is a life and death situation. A hesitancy the police wants to change.
“The bottom line is if you are questioning if you should call 911, you should air on the side of calling us and being a good witness,” said Wichita police chief Gordon Ramsey.
Ana Lopez is a member of the Young Latino Professionals of Wichita and said working together will create change in the Hispanic community.
“Community policing the Wichita police department is working on we were able to provide comment and feedback as to how things could work within different sectors of the Hispanic community,” said Lopez.
For Dominguez, getting to know the police officer who is answering his calls would make an impact.
“I would feel like I’m comfortable calling, you know? I wouldn’t call you directly, but I really know you and you are here to help us okay,” said Dominguez.
The Wichita police chief said he agrees with Dominguez that officers should take more opportunities to get to know the people and businesses in the neighborhoods they patrol.