WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Delano restaurant owners say they’re scared, after one of their own was shot while at work.
Wednesday, Wichita police met with almost a dozen owners to talk safety in the normally quiet area.
It was a packed house at Delano barbecue as neighborhood restaurant owners talked safety.
“It’s been a trend in the industry for quite a while, that we’ve always concerned ourselves with,” said Adam Mills, CEO of Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association.
Business owners say there’s been an uptick in crime here in the Delano area. Mills and his team want to make sure the restaurant owners are aware.
“What kind of steps and actions can we take to if not eliminate the risk, lower it,” explained Mills.
Which is why the Wichita Police Department had several officers here at the BBQ joint, in an effort to build a relationship with employers.
Officers like Sgt. Steve Yarberry shared multiple ways these business owners can help prevent armed robberies like the one at Ruben’s Mexican Grill that happened last month.
He tells them to look into increasing security, make sure to keep the back doors locked at all times, even when employees are coming in and out and be on your guard especially during closing time.
“The police department knew Ruben very well, so when that occurred it even shocked our department,” said Yarberry.
But like many others, Yarberry sees the silver lining.
“When bad things like that happen, there has to be a positive out of it, and I think today was a positive because maybe we can prevent that from happening in the future or do something that maybe we can’t have that kind of outcome down the road,” answered Yarberry.
“This being spurred with what happened to Ruben down the street has really raised a lot of awareness with what’s going on,” stated Jon Suddent, Owner of Delano BBQ.
Suddeth says he’s thankful Wichita police is having this conversation with them.
“We’ve tried to make the staff more aware of what they’re doing at the end of the night as far as propping doors open when they run trash and do things like that,” said Suddeth.
Though Suddeth hopes nothing bad happens to him or the rest of his neighbors, he says he’s now prepared for the worst.
Another tip from officers, don’t have pictures or signs covering your windows, because if something is happening inside this restaurant, no one from the outside could see it.