The streets of Topeka are the safest they’ve been in years, according to Police Chief Ron Miller.
Miller says although crime is down overall, there are certain areas where reports are up.
Compare to this time last year, property crime has decreased overall by about 6% and violent crime has decreased by almost 29%.
Miller says, however, reports of youth sex crimes are up. He believes more young people feel comfortable reporting these crimes because of the School Resource Officer Program, which assigns one Topeka Police Officer to each of the city’s high schools and middle schools.
The program aims to build positive relationships between officers, students and faculty.
“We think that’s probably a byproduct of building a good relationship, people are more willing to tell us what happened and are more willing to come forward with the problems they’re having,” Miller says, “They feel comfortable talking to the school resource officer whom they already know.”
Just last year the program expanded to high schools. The outcomes have been so positive so far, Miller wants to expand further to the four magnet elementary schools by the end of next year.