Violent crime is on the rise in Wichita. But how do we stop it?
That’s the question a local youth leader and community advocated are asking. They are challenging the city to combat recent gang and violent crimes.
“There is another shooting, there’s another,” a sentiment shared by Rise Up For Youth leader David Gilkey.
Gilkey has grown tired of violent crimes and how they have affected his youth program over the years.
“I lost 13 boys to homicides since I have been doing what I do,” says Gilkey.
Odell Harris, a pastor, and a member of the Citizens Review Board, has also seen enough.
“Meetings are not enough, just sitting down and meeting at a table and talking about it,” says Harris. “Words need become needs that meet needs.”
Because both say it’s the children who are suffering and getting caught up in crime and in the middle of street feuds. Harris and Gilkey say everyone needs to taking responsibility of what has been going on.
“We don’t need to see people who are pointing fingers and saying it is a Northeast problem, or an east or west, this is a whole city of Wichita that takes a look at this,” explains Gilkey. “We are at a point now where baby’s are getting shot now. That right there should be enough to take a look back and say, wait a minute, our children are getting our children are getting shot now.”
Gilkey and Harris believe a step towards a solution are parents taking responsibility at home and more local leaders interacting with each other.
“We need to make a change and that change has got to start with some carrying concern, confrontational conversations,” Harris adds.
“I think we need to be more transparent, even with the police department, even with people in the community, even with our churches, we all need to be more transparent,” says Gilkey.
Wichita police say they have done their own work to address the same issues by starting the Violent Crimes Community Response teams and meeting with different community groups several times a week.