Wichita State to study safety in neighborhood

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — After a Wichita woman was raped and burned in a nearby park recently, Wichita State University is planning to discuss safety and improvements in its surrounding neighborhoods.

University president John Bardo said Thursday he asked the school’s chief lawyer to convene a task force to study the issue. The work will start with the Fairmount Neighborhood south of campus, where Letitia Davis was assaulted Nov. 14. She later died of her injuries.

Bardo said other crimes such as assaults, car break-ins and other crimes have been reported, especially south of campus.

“Yes, we live in the largest city in the state, and yes, crime will happen,” he said. “But, enough is enough.”

Ted Ayres, the university’s general counsel, said he hopes to quickly set up a small task force that includes neighborhood, city and university personnel, The Wichita Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/1vmm3wF ).

“The neighborhood and WSU share the same DNA,” Ayres said. “We are mutually dependent and I agree with President Bardo that enough is enough. Our residents look forward to working with WSU on these issues.”

Ayres, who will lead the initiative called “Enough is Enough,” said he doesn’t want task force members to be exclusive to Fairmount.

“We have neighborhoods on three other sides of us, and they need to be part of the community concern as well,” Ayres said.

Cornell McNeal, 26, has been charged with rape and capital murder. A message seeking comment was left with his attorney Friday.

“We will continue to work closely with the Wichita Police Department and city officials on safety issues south of campus,” Bardo said. “The areas beyond campus are not our jurisdiction or responsibility, but we want to be partners in helping address the problems they face.”



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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