WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita Police Department (WPD), in collaboration with Sedgwick County Juvenile Services, has created a WPD Juvenile Intervention Unit (JIU). The announcement was made Monday.
In a news release, WPD said this newly created unit consists of a WPD sergeant, two WPD detectives, and two juvenile intervention officers. Youth who offend at a young age are more likely to become chronic and violent offenders as they age, and the best opportunity to intervene is as early as possible.
WPD said because the first contact is often the police, they are in a position to be the most helpful. JIU staff will coordinate with child welfare groups, schools, treatment providers, and youth organizations to more effectively help Wichita’s youth. The focus of this specialized team is to proactively address youth involved in gangs and illegal behavior.
The team will use established practices such as focused deterrence, diversion, and restorative justice to keep youth out of the criminal justice system and onto positive paths by increasing their access to service providers in our community.
“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.”
WPD provided the current statics involving juveniles and violent crimes, shown below.
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