Ordinance proposed to crack down on Old Town crime

WICHITA, Kansas – A proposal cracking down on crime in Old Town aims to help erase violent scenes like one from last September when a shooting left one person dead and six others injured.

A group including the Wichita police, the city attorney’s office and the Old Town Association among others are working to repair that image.

“That’s why it’s taken almost two years, we want to make sure the ordinance is fair, protect people who are law abiding but really tells everybody else who’s going to come down here to cause problems that you don’t want to come down here and cause those problems,” said Jason Van Sickle, President of Old Town Association.

The ordinance would impose harsh fines on top of the regular fines and jail time for various crimes including assault and battery, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, use of a weapon, loitering and others.

Under the proposal it will cost first time offenders $500, and $1,000 the second crime. After three or more offenses, you could be banned from Old Town for life by a judge.

Megan Steele has lived in Old Town for about 2 years. She’s hopeful the harsher penalties will keep repeat offenders out of her neighborhood.

The city’s law department says the draft is still be finalized, but it on the council’s agenda for May 13th. Council members are expecting to hear public comments before making a final decision, perhaps as soon as next month.

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