Fernando Salazar The Wichita Eagle
Fernando Salazar The Wichita Eagle

Kirk Seminoff's Pivot Point

Community engagement editor Kirk Seminoff blogs about news and issues in Wichita and Kansas.

Pivot Point

Violent crime numbers highlight law-enforcement challenges

By Kirk Seminoff

kseminoff@wichitaeagle.com

October 05, 2017 10:17 AM

Gun violence has been in the headlines often recently in Kansas. Lawmakers learned this week that it’s taking a toll on law enforcement.

Multiple types of violent crime are on the rise in the state. Murders were up 46 percent over two years. Robberies were up 26 percent, rape 11 percent.

Members of the Joint Committee on Kansas Security learned that the KBI has focused on the most serious crimes and not taken over many local cases of white-collar crime, unless it involves a public official.

There were nearly 100 KBI agents funded in 2009-10; there are now 74. Overtime since 2012 has increased eight-fold in five years, to more than $300,000. A KBI executive officer told the committee that agents are overworked.

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The solution, of course, is more money for overtime and hiring agents. But KBI needs will join a group of many other parts of state government needing funding help.

Kirk Seminoff: 316-268-6278, @kseminoff