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New security measures being implemented in Old Town area

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Sep. 30, 2013, at 10:37 a.m.
  • Updated Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, at 7:03 a.m.

Wichita police instituted new security measures this weekend in Old Town because of a fatal shooting Sept. 22, Chief Norman Williams said Monday.

Police also asked the public for help in obtaining a copy of a video of that shooting, which has been posted on YouTube and other sites. Detectives have been studying it but want a copy.

“We need to put the person responsible for the shooting into the justice system,” said Capt. Brent Allred, the commander of the Crimes Against Persons bureau. “We have interviewed some people and got some information from that, but we need more.

“I don’t care how we get the information. We just want the information.”

Police said dozens of people at the scene that night have not come forward to describe what they saw.

“Whether it is the fear factor or the fear of retaliation, we don’t know,” Williams said. “But we have an obligation to those family members who lost a loved one. … We need to find out why he was killed and why others were shot.”

Kolby Hopkins, 25, died when a gunman fired into a crowd in the 100 block of North Mead in Old Town about 2 a.m. as bars were letting out. Six others were wounded.

The security measures are meant to be short term and to supplement a security plan designed in December .

They include:

• Using on- and off-duty personnel in specific areas of Old Town during evening and morning hours. The city is spending more money for overtime to increase the police force to about 20 officers near closing time.

• Assigning more officers to walk through nightclubs.

• Flying the police helicopter over Old Town near closing time.

• Assigning Reserve Unit officers to monitor Old Town security cameras during late-night hours on weekends. This frees regular officers to patrol on foot and by car, Williams said.

• Adjusting traffic flow in Old Town to discourage cars from cruising through the area.

Old Town was quiet this past weekend, and Williams said part of the reason was more officers monitoring the area. He went there himself, he said.

Eleven people were arrested on various charges, he said. Two DUI arrests were made, and five liquor law violations were cited.

Williams said the police and city will evaluate the new measures after 30 to 40 days to decide what to do in the future.

Anyone with video or knowledge of the fatal shooting is encouraged to call 911, the homicide unit at 316-268-4181 or Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111.

Tips can also be submitted at http://wichitasedgwickcountycrimestoppers.com or by texting TIP217 then the message to CRIMES (274637). Tips leading to an arrest are eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

Contributing: Joshua Wood and Stan Finger of The Eagle.

Reach Roy Wenzl at 316-268-6219 or rwenzl@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @roywenzl.

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