WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Thanks to a federal grant, you may now see police patrolling the areas of Pawnee to 21st Street North and Water Street to St. Francis.
It’s the same Wichita police officers, only slightly different duties.
“We are not going to just be driving past the problem that is small in a police car. We are going to be able to be more proactive as far as policing,” says Officer Trevor Johanson.
They’re trading in the patrol cars and pounding the pavement trying to get ahead of the problems in the Broadway corridor, and get to know the people who live there.
“I think it is good. If you have a problem they’ll come and fix it,” says Mary Perkins, Topeka Street resident.
They may be knocking on your door next. In the first two weeks, officers have spoken with 1,300 residents and already have dealt with more than 150 complaints, everything from speeding to drug activity.
“Just flag us down and holler at us okay?” Johanson tells one resident.
“It is rewarding. We have definitely had a huge amount of residents that are thankful that we are out here doing this,” says Officer Johanson.
It’s something new to residents.
“The neighborhood has gotten a lot quieter. We had a lot of traffic on bicycles in and out through the night,” says a Topeka street resident Charles Meyer.
It is also new for officers like Trevor Johanson. He’s been with Wichita police for four years.
“It definitely took some getting used to. It is something that is different and kind of gets away from responding to 911 call after 911 call.”
Though it makes for some hot hours in the sun, officer Johanson says he feels the love from outside the patrol car, and getting a simple thank you goes a long way.
“That is encouraging. There is a lot of negative press and negative media on police and they are actually just thrilled that we are out here doing this.”
The grant funds the program for four years.
—– ORIGINAL STORY—–
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Six officers with the Wichita Police Department are focusing on crime along the Broadway corridor in Wichita.
The Broadway corridor project runs from 21st Street North to Pawnee and from Water to St. Francis streets.
In two weeks, officers have had 1,300 citizen and 232 business contacts. There have been 154 complaints of crime. Those crimes include drugs, prostitution, larcenies, illegal dumping, and speeding in residential areas.
“First two weeks have been good for the officers. We’ve been on foot patrol for two weeks. Basically, the six officers are going door-to-door, business-to-business contacting everyone in the corridor,” said Sgt. Bob Gulliver, Wichita Police Department.
So far, officers said they are about 85 percent done in canvassing the area. After that, they will start addressing the complaints received by businesses and residents.
“Very well received by residents in the area. They are happy to see us. They are happy about the project. They are happy to see officers have time to address these issues.” said Sgt. Gulliver.
KSN News is out with officers touring the areas of Broadway. Look for more reaction coming up tonight on KSN News.