Opinion Columns & Blogs

Does Old Town need its own police unit?

An Eagle article highlighted the special challenge Old Town presents for Patrol South, which polices the nightlife district along with the rest of its coverage area. How to keep Old Town safe and welcoming has become a more pressing question since a major March shooting, which coincided with two others elsewhere in the city. More cameras, lighting and police presence, especially as bars close, clearly are part of the ongoing solution, as is better communication with club and other business owners. It was concerning to learn that Pandora, one of the venues linked to the March 5 violence, had been rented out to a private group that night (it reportedly now will require more private security for such events). Crime data confirms official claims about Old Town’s relative safety. But Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay and other leaders need to consider what it would take to give Old Town a dedicated police unit, or perhaps add a central bureau. – Rhonda Holman