Wichita Police Department

Ark Valley Fire Buff / Flickr

The Wichita City Council approved plans Tuesday to study the police department’s needs as it prepares to build a new station.

The Wichita Police Department is planning to build a new facility to replace its aging Patrol East substation near Kellogg and Edgemoor. It was built in 1989 for about 40 people—now, 140 people work there, Chief Gordon Ramsay told council members.

The city’s Capital Improvement Program includes more than $2 million for a new facility. $125,000 of that will be used to first study how to design a modern police station.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

A partnership between the ride-sharing service Uber and the Wichita Police Department is offering first-time Uber users a free ride or discount of up to $20 through New Year's Eve.  The promotion began on Tuesday, Dec. 27, with the goal of reducing the number of holiday DUIs.

PATRICK T. FALLON BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES

After Saturday, Dec. 31, all of the funding for the Wichita Police Department's Air Section will be reallocated to pay for body-worn cameras.

This past July, every patrol officer in the WPD was reportedly equipped with a body-worn camera, a milestone that came nearly seven months after the projected deadline. The implementation process was delayed by the late release of funds for a $250,000 matching grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Abigail Beckman / KMUW

The Union Rescue Mission and the Wichita Police Department on Tuesday delivered holiday meals to local families in need. It's part of a 13-year partnership between the department and the shelter.

Nearly 100 cardboard boxes lined the cafeteria tables Tuesday morning at Wichita's Union Rescue Mission, an emergency shelter and job training center for men. Inside each box was a frozen turkey, bread, pie, canned goods and garnishes, all to be delivered to local families. 

This year, Officer Brent Johnson with the WPD organized the delivery process.

Tony Webster/Flickr Creative Commons

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has ordered a review of the state's Amber Alert system, after cell phone alerts failed following a kidnapping in Wichita Monday.

Schmidt has asked for a complete review of the program and a report no later than January 31, 2017.  

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

On Tuesday, leaders from south-central Kansas’ law enforcement agencies gathered in Wichita to participate in a seminar that focused on hiring practices to help increase diversity.

The U.S. Justice Department sponsored the seminar, calling it a “Diversity Dialogue.”

The agency’s research found that people in underrepresented communities often have a lack of trust in law enforcement and don’t know about police career opportunities.

Those factors, and others, become barriers to police recruiting and hiring efforts.

Crime Stoppers of Wichita/Sedgwick County / Facebook

A Sedgwick County organization that helps law enforcement agencies solve crimes is in need of a helping hand. Donations to Crime Stoppers have hit an all-time low.

It’s been a tough few years for the Wichita-Sedgwick County Crime Stoppers organization when it comes to financial support.

The nonprofit is funded solely by donations from individuals and corporations, and there’s not a lot of money coming in these days. Crime Stoppers offers rewards of up to $2,500 for information that leads to an arrest in felony crimes.

Wichita Police Department

Updated Tuesday, Nov. 22: Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett has filed charges against a Dallas woman accused of killing a Wichita woman and stealing her newborn daughter.

Bennett said in a statement Tuesday that the official charges against 34-year-old Yesenia Sesmas won't be made public until her first court appearance. Sesmas is being held in Texas on suspicion of first-degree murder and kidnapping in connection to the death of Laura Abarca-Nogueda and the kidnapping of her 6-day-old baby, Sophia Gonzales.

Bennett says the state intends to pursue extradition from Dallas, but that process that could take up to 90 days. A court date for Sesmas has not been set.

Sesmas reportedly told a Dallas TV station that 27-year-old Abarca-Nogueda had agreed to turn over her newborn daughter, but backed out on the agreement. In an interview at the Dallas County Jail, the 34-year-old woman admitted that she killed Abarca-Nogueda in Wichita but said she didn't mean to. 

Updated 9:15 a.m., Nov. 19, 2016: An infant missing from Wichita since Thursday afternoon has been found alive and healthy. Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay held a press conference to announce that 8-day-old Sofia Gonzales was located at a residence in Dallas around 4:30 a.m. Saturday. Police say two suspects who knew the infant's mother were taken into custody. He declined to offer any other information citing the ongoing investigation. Chief Ramsay said the baby is in protective custody as the investigation continues.

Johnny / flickr Creative Commons

The Wichita Police Department is partnering with the Union Rescue Mission to deliver Thanksgiving meals to families in need.

Police officers will deliver boxes of food to 100 families around Wichita identified as being in need. The food—including turkey and fixings for Thanksgiving dinner--is collected by the Union Rescue Mission, an evangelical Christian ministry that provides shelter and other services to homeless men.

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