Wichita police see increase in cases, not enough detectives to meet the demand

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) - The Wichita Police Department says crime in certain areas has doubled, even triple since 2012.

Police are having to work the increase in cases with the same or even fewer detectives than they once had.

"From my observation, it was busy, more so than I remember," said Deputy Chief Jose Salcido.

Salcido took over Investigations for the department last month and took a hard look at some of the data.

"Our aggravated assaults in 2012 were 1,383, last year we had 2,197, with the same amount of detectives," said Deputy Chief Salcido.

In some cases, they have less detectives to work certain crimes.

"Back in 2012, we had 13 DV, sex detectives, that investigated both domestic violence and sex crimes, last year we had eight," said Deputy Chief Salcido.

He says this can also be seen for detectives who are tasked with working homicide cases.

"If a homicide detective works six cases per year, that is really the desired, the golden mean there," said Deputy Chief Salcido. "Last year ,we actually surpassed that average, we went seven point something per detective, this year we are almost looking at eight or better," he added.

Deputy Chief Salcido says the added case load has an impact when you don't have the staff to meet the demand.

"What we are doing is we are actually taking our aggravated assault detectives and adding them to the homicide call outs so that they take cases as well," said Deputy Chief Salcido.

When it comes to homicides, Deputy Chief Salcido says even two more detectives would help lighten the load.

City Councilman James Clendenin says the city is committed to making sure the department is adequately staffed.

"There are areas within the police department that are lacking in manpower, so as we move forward, we are going to make sure the funding is there, one way or another," said Clendenin.

A staffing study was done on the department last year.

It showed more staffing was needed in certain areas, like the person crimes units and to handle financial crimes.

Clendenin says they added 10 positions last year.

He says the city is working with staff and the city manager to figure out how many more positions they could add this year.

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