TOPEKA (KSNT) – The beginning of the summer was violent for the city.
Death investigations on May 10th, May 15th and May 17th, had the city wondering if it was safe in Topeka.
On May 21st, the Topeka Police Department responded by initiating a violent crime initiative. On Thursday, two department leaders said the initiative, aimed at gang-related violence, worked.
“These are impressive numbers,” said Maj. Darin Scott.
During the Sept. 6 City Council meeting, Police Chief James Brown had a copy of the numbers and some literature for council person Sylvia Ortiz regarding the initiative.
Copies were given out at the press conference where Scott and Topeka Sgt. Ruben Salamanca spoke.
In a little more than 3 months, 236 people were arrested, more than 2,000 grams of marijuana and 63 grams of cocaine were seized, 30 guns were taken off the streets and nearly $60,000 was confiscated.
“Gangs are a web,” Scott said. “What we are trying to do is get ahead of where the problem is.”
And although police say the numbers are strong, is the change noticeable for residents?
“Every time I come to church there’s another, another death,” said Teresa Switzer. “I am very, very worried about the community and the violence that’s been taking place and the deaths.”
Switzer said she thinks this initiative can keep working in the future if a key piece to the equation continues. She said the community and police need to have good communication.