Crime & Courts

Officers are using Old Town cameras to pull over drivers

If you were in the Old Town area Thursday morning, you might have noticed an increase in Wichita police cars driving around.

Maybe you got pulled over and were told your moving violation was “seen on camera.”

That’s because the Wichita Police Department is utilizing street cameras to watch for traffic infractions.

“The cameras are controlled from a City Hall office by staffers who dispatch nearby patrol officers to issue citations,” a news release from WPD said.

The cameras were recently installed in Old Town to “enhance public safety” in the entertainment district. And they were credited in late September for helping officers make an arrest in an assault case.

Officer Charley Davidson had said officers were watching the camera system at about 1 a.m. on a Saturday when they saw a fight in the 100 block of North Mosley.

Patrol officers responded and found a 29-year-old man who had been assaulted by a 22-year-old man. The younger man was found in the area and arrested.

The high-definition cameras were installed over the summer. In June, police said the center in City Hall had 10 video screens that could accommodate as many as four officers or volunteers.

Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said in June that the system gives police near-total coverage of Old Town with cameras that can zoom in close enough to read a license plate.

American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the leading road safety camera provider in North America, wants drivers to see this year’s compilation of the worst red-light running crash videos and realize they are too dangerous to ignore.

Wichita police officers, including some on horses, keep watch over the crowds during closing time in Old Town. (Video by Oliver Morrison/The WIchita Eagle/May 7, 2016)

Nichole Manna: 316-269-6752, @NicholeManna