Wichita Police Department

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Car break-ins tend to be more frequent toward the end of the year in Wichita.

The last two months of 2016 saw an 8 percent increase in the frequency of car break-ins compared to the rest of the year, according to data provided by the Wichita Police Department. Previous years also saw a rise.

Lt. Chris McAuliffe with the Wichita Police Department says car owners can best avoid break-ins by not making their cars a target of opportunity.

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

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Wichita’s police chief wants the state Legislature to clarify laws on video taken by officers with body-worn cameras.

In an eight-minute video posted on the Wichita Police Department social media channels this week, Chief Gordon Ramsay talks about transparency issues and the use of body-cam video. He says he supports the use of body cams but does not think the video should be available to anyone who asks for it.

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Wichita Police have identified the woman found dead in her home Tuesday morning as 42-year-old Perla Rodriguez. She was known for her work in helping abused women in the community.

Police determined Rodriguez died of blunt-force trauma. WPD spokesman Officer Charley Davidson says her boyfriend has been arrested and taken into custody for first-degree murder.

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The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a case that involves at least three Wichita Police officers.

Wichita Police spokesman Charley Davidson said during a news briefing Monday that the investigation is ongoing and so far has resulted in one arrest.

"The officer on Friday was booked on charges of misdemeanor official misconduct and stalking," Davidson explained. "The arrest was made by the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s office."

Davidson would not identify the officer who was charged.

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The Wichita Police Department is undergoing implicit bias training this month. It's just one of several efforts designed to improve community relations.

During the last year, the department has offered training to officers on racial awareness and fair and impartial policing.

This time, Police Chief Gordon Ramsay says the entire department of 850 people, officers and support staff, will go through the bias training.

WPD Facebook/File

The Wichita Police Department is testing a new type of high-tech body camera that it says will reduce the risk of human error.

All officers were outfitted last year with body-worn cameras, but police Chief Gordon Ramsay says technology has already advanced. The department is trying out 12 new body cameras that are blue-tooth capable and can turn on automatically.

“We’ve seen across the country where officers forget to turn the cameras on, and valuable footage is not captured," Ramsay said at an event earlier this week.

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Wichita City Council took the first steps today toward creating a new citizen's board to review complaints about the police department, approving the first reading of the ordinance.

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A Muslim civil liberties group is calling for an independent investigation into events that led to the arrest of a Muslim family at a Wichita bank earlier this month.

The Kansas chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, says it wants an explanation why an Iraqi-American man was detained, along with his wife and teenage daughter, after trying to deposit a check for $151,000.

Bank staff suspected the check was fraudulent; Wichita Police determined it was valid before releasing the family. Both say they were following procedure.

Ark Valley Fire Buff / flickr Creative Commons

Both Emprise Bank and the Wichita Police Department say they were just following procedure last week during an incident that led to the arrest of a Wichita State University doctoral student of Middle Eastern descent.

Police were called to the bank at 21st and Woodlawn last Wednesday in response to reports of a man with what bank staff believed to be a forged check for $151,000. The WPD says in a statement that one Kansas Highway Patrol Officer, one Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Officer and two Wichita Police officers responded to the call.

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