Police: Drunk, Disorderly Behavior Problem in Topeka Nightlife Area

Huntoon & Gage, Topeka, Kan.

TOPEKA, Kan. - Over the past several years the Topeka Police Department, along with several other agencies, have responded to numerous calls in around the Huntoon and Gage entertainment area.

Police put out the following announcement regarding their busts in relation to recent calls and efforts to lower crime in the area:

The calls have been so numerous despite the Topeka Police Department's efforts of reaching out to the entertainment establishments’ owners and management in the specific area.

Although, we have experienced some cooperation from the establishment managers and owners, the problems of drunken and disorderly persist and usually bad behavior, which started inside, ends up in the parking lots.

Just how many calls has the area generated? There were 182 calls for service the Topeka Police Department responded to in the first 11 months of 2008. Seventy-eight of those calls were for either fights and/or disturbances. These calls of service profoundly happen on Fridays and Saturdays.

Some of the crime reduction initiatives the Topeka Police Department have carried out have included similar operations, albeit, on a much smaller scale than this past Friday and conducting a Bar & Club Venue education class, where topics of recognizing drug and alcohol intoxication, confronting aggressive people, gang education, and current licensing mandates are discussed.

Furthermore, Chief Ron Miller has met individually with most of the entertainment establishment representatives to discuss how, through cooperative efforts; there can be a reduction of crime and safer environment.

The latest, and the first of a series, of planned saturation patrols for 2009, took place this past Friday. The goal of this and future patrols will be to focus on quality of life issues. Through reporting activity and disturbances of poor and/ or criminal behavior as it develops, as it happens, and even after it has happened, the entertainment establishments in the area are encouraged to continue to engage in their civil duty.

This latest effort was collaborative effort, which brought together the resources of the District Attorney, the Shawnee County Department of Corrections, KS Department of Revenue, and was anchored with officers from the Topeka Police Department.

The following are the statistics from the latest operation;

We made 24 car stops issuing 24 hazardous moving violations, 10 non-hazardous violations, and 3 warnings.

We seized 4 guns along with 4 drug related arrests

We arrested 4 drivers for DUI and made 2 arrests on misdemeanor warrants.

We broke up one fight and investigated 1 suspicious vehicle.

Club Nocturnal, located in the 4100 block of SW Huntoon, was found to be operating in contradiction to City of Topeka and State of Kansas licenses, of which pertain to and required for operating a dancing and drinking establishment. An Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) agent for the Kansas Department of Revenue closed the club for cause; until such time the owners can appeal the action.

There is no reason the citizens of our community can not enjoy a safe and fun environment.

Everyone can become involved in promoting a safe atmosphere. Some things a person can do to help:
1) Report criminal or disturbed drunken behavior,
2) If a disturbance of a criminal nature happens or it looks like it is going to happen, leave the area, but the Topeka Police Department would ask that if you witness something, please take the time to call. You may be the key in helping the police figure out what was going on to exacerbate the situation.
3) Again, don’t linger, many times people involved in fights, for reason of immaturity plus alcohol, like audiences as they act out disturbing the peace or starting a fight.
4) Give the police department a call and be apart of the solution and resolution!