TOPEKA (KSNT) — In light of the recent spike in violent crime the Hi-Crest neighborhood has seen, Topeka Police are now pulling officers from other bureaus around the city into Southeast Topeka, and they’re also asking for outside help.
Right now Topeka residents are split over that shift.
“I think the police are doing exactly what they have to do to protect that area and to get the gangs or drug violence under control,” said Barbara Butts, a Topeka Business Owner.
“I don’t think it’s a very good idea, I think you ought to hire some more policemen,” said Topeka Resident Erwin Hippen.
A difference in opinion about policy, but one the City of Topeka is sticking with, at least for now.
“This kind of violence can just explode and grow huge so fast, and unless you get in there right away and start addressing it, it just grows exponentially,” said Brendan Jensen, Topeka City Councilman for District 5.
“They’re trying to the best of their ability to do what they can to prevent a situation that, to me, seems unpreventable,” said Donald Bartlett, a Topeka Resident.
Bartlett grew up in the Hi-Crest neighborhood and remains skeptical the cycle of drugs, violence and gangs can ever really be stopped, but city leaders disagree.
“It’s crucial when you’re in the law enforcement capacity to look where your hot spots are, get in, get those addressed and then go back to defending the city as a whole,” said Jensen.
He believes everyone in the city has a vested interest in improving the community as a whole, and even though some resources are temporarily being redirected to one specific area, that’s not to say the rest of the city is being ignored.
As police focus their efforts on stopping the violence in the Hi-Crest Neighborhood, residents in the rest of Topeka are reminded, if you see something suspicious, say something. Police are still available to respond to your concerns.
Of the six shootings in recent weeks, arrests have been made in two of the incidents so far.
Police say they need help in finding those responsible. You can call them, or Crime Stoppers if you have a tip.