WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police are working with area hotels and motels along Kellogg to combat crime. The crimes range from drug activity, human trafficking, prostitution, and financial crimes.
In June 2016, police started to recognize a high number of calls at hotels and motels west of West Street.
“In September 2016, we put together the motel interdiction team. That team consists of two supervisors, officers from third shift, fourth shift, community policing and SCAT unit,” said Sgt. Steve Yarberry.
Sgt. Yarberry said since the team started on the west side, 215 arrests have been made, and 44 stolen vehicles have been recovered.
“We are going to do everything to clean up our city and make it safe for everyone that lives in and visits Wichita,” said Lt. Ron Hunt.
Shortly after setting up the motel interdiction team on the west side, the east side started seeing crimes such as auto thefts and burglaries. On March 15, the east began its own interdiction team. Since kicking off the program, there have been 112 arrests.
“In fact on several occasions, we will see some of these people drive from a motel west location straight to east and check in at a motel,” said Lt. Ron Hunt.
Back in May, Lt. Hunt said cooperation among the motels along Kellogg help officers arrest a homicide suspect out of Riley County. Hunt said he hopes that cooperation continues.
“There are a few that are not as likely or willing to work with law enforcement because that is their clientele. If we hurt them, then we hurt their business which is not our intention,” said Lt. Hunt.
Police said they have officers assigned to community policing that have created a PowerPoint training program.
“They are going out training managers and owners of motels and hotels. They, in turn, are going to be training their employees on how to identify criminal activity, people who come in and are setting up shops of drugs, selling drugs, using drugs,” said Sgt. Yarberry.