TPD & Shawnee Co. Sheriff’s Dept. provide increased enforcement along county trails

Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 6:14 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - As public concern grows along with new incidents of violence, the Topeka Police Department and Shawnee County Sheriff’s Department are joining together to increase enforcement along Shawnee County trails.

One community member who frequently walks the trails said that she has taken extra safety measures to protect herself.

“I usually don’t wear ear buds when I am walking, I just listen to my music out loud to stay safe. Especially when I am by myself and I carry a taser with me or pepper spray and I just always stay aware when I’m walking.”

Two resolutions were presented to Shawnee County Commissioners for their first readings Thursday morning regarding more safety protocols.

Joseph Swisher, who spends a lot of time on the trails, said that in times like these we have to focus on safety.

“You never want to think badly about people, but that’s really the world that we live in,” said Swisher. “You always have to be prepared for the worst.”

Topeka Police Chief, Bryan Wheeles, said that he is concerned with the recent incidents and that safety is a priority.

“There does need to be some additional efforts that are made, whatever those are. Whether those are policy changes or whether those are social service organizations bridging the gaps,” said Wheeles. “I have a tendency to think it’s a very complicated problem and it’s going to be a layered approach, but I do believe that it’s a good start for the city and the county to look at consistent ordinances through the trail and park system since we overlap there.”