WPD working to reduce higher than average violent crime rate


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita still stands at nearly double the national rate of violent crimes, based on population. Chief Gordon Ramsay says new numbers look hopeful.

“So we’ve seen an uptick starting in 2012-2014 with aggravated assaults,” said Chief Ramsay. “And about 46 percent of our assaults are domestic. So that’s a significant number that I don’t think a lot of people realize.”

Chief Ramsay says, while 2017 crime stats from the KBI and FBI show Wichita at about twice the national average, he says progress is being made.

Ramsay provided new numbers year-to-date from 2018 to 2019. Those numbers show homicides down 42 percent in 2019. Rape numbers are down 7 percent. Aggravated assaults are essentially flat. Robbery is down by 23 percent since 2018.

“We have initiatives in place,” said Ramsay.

The department has pushed more resources into the violent crimes task force. And the department is working with two new federal grants to reduce crime.

Pastor Fred Hayes Jr. with New Life Church says he would like to work with the department on prevention. His church was recently hit by bricks being thrown in the front windows and doors.

“Busting windows at a house of God is a different thing,” said Pastor Hayes. “Very sacred. So I was just very stunned.”

Pastor Hayes has programs aimed at helping lead youth in the right direction. Chief Ramsay told KSN he has been working hard at prevention of all kinds.

Chief Ramsay says while they have more resources in the violent crimes task force, they also are getting help solving crimes.

“So we’ve focused on that and we have the ATF to give us more technology to be more able to be more effective in our response to those who are shooting guns,” said Ramsay.

The chief says there is more work to be done. There is another, yet to be announced, major initiative coming in a couple of weeks. There is also a continued emphasis on prevention.

“The Department of National Safety Partnership will certainly help as well,” said Ramsay.

That partnership is new and is a three year deal to help provide training and tech assistance to the department.

“I will work with police any time they want,” said Pastor Hayes. “The kids are the future.”

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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