WICHITA, Kansas – – In a story we told about last week, Wichita State University is in the early phases of forming a task force.
The hope is the task force can address safety issues, on and around campus.
In those talks, changes to jurisdiction for WSU police patrols has been brought up, in meetings with nearby neighborhood associations.
State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau has taken steps to draft legislation that would give both WPD and WSU police the ability to merge their efforts.
Faust-Goudeau defined merging as allowing WSU police crossover into areas that are now only patrolled by WPD.
“It’s going to be a quick language change to a measure in a existing law to allow us to do this here in the city of Wichita,” said Faust-Goudeau.
Faust-Goudeau says this kind of change has already taken place in Lawrence, where the Lawrence Police Department and KU police have combined efforts.
Wichita State President John Bardo says he isn’t necessarily opposed to the change that would allow a crossover of police units.
However, Bardo is concerned that he won’t get more funding to hire more officers to patrol the extra area.
“There’s not a new source of revenue, unless the state is talking about changing the revenue stream a lot, it would change dramatically the amount of money we charge students if we change the jurisdiction issue,” said Bardo.
Bardo says with the task force in it’s beginning stages, any changes to jurisdiction for both WSU police and WPD still need to be hashed out.
“I feel this is one of those things we need to walk through, we need to make sure we know what we’re doing and we need to make sure we don’t step on other people’s toes,” said Bardo.
Faust-Goudeau says she wants to make sure all parties involved are on the same page before going forward with the legislation.
Faust-Goudeau is hopeful to have the legislation ready to go when the legislative session begins on January 12th.