Wichita police ups its game for NCAA patrols

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police increased its presence in Old Town on Friday night for the NCAA tournament and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

“It’s just kind of a special event people come together. We want them to have a good time so we want to have sufficient officers here to deal with the extra volume of people,” said Wichita Police Sergeant Michael O’Brien.

Officers were on foot, bike and horses. They were also interacting with people in Old Town in hopes of keeping the area crime free.

“The point being is it is a festive time and we want people to feel safe when they come down here and we want them to have a good time,” O’Brien said. “It allows us to maybe identify problems before they become a big problem.”

Fans seemed to have a good time. KSN talked with a number of people as they watched Friday night’s games.

“Noisy, fun, crazy loud!” said Lucy Alcala.

“It’s crazy! We’ve got three games tonight, all three at the same time,” said Allen Burkhart.

“We are from Kansas. We support the Big 12. We support the Missouri Valley. It’s Kansas and it’s the big dance, March Madness,” said Danny Alcala.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office did not increase its patrols on Friday night. Deputies did however conduct DUI enforcement patrols as part of their usual duties.