The Topeka Police Department seized 462 guns in 2018, that’s up 31 from the previous year. The city also saw 13 fewer homicides than 2017.
Police Chief Bill Cochran said he believes the efforts of his police department are paying off.
He said with the rise of concealed carry, officers are encountering more guns.
“The numbers of individuals that are committing crimes that are carrying firearms seems to be going up,” said Cochran.
The police chief said one way to keep the trend going is to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but he said it’s not just about taking guns away from criminals, it’s about fighting crime from all angles.
“Focus on violent crime, we also educate the public. So get the community involved in our efforts, so it’s a holistic approach,” said Cochran.
People are noticing the differences in the department.
“If you can show the community that the opinion is being acted upon and being addressed, I think that that is extremely critical to the relationship that the police department has with its community,” said Topeka City Councilman Mike Padilla.
Cochran said the safer the city is, the more attractive it will be to live in.
“We got some really great things going on in the city of Topeka and so when people feel good about the city, good things are going to happen and the police department is going to be a very important part of that.”
Chief Cochran also stressed for people not to leave guns in unlocked cars because it gives criminals an opportunity to have a gun when police are trying to keep one out of their hands.
One way the department is taking guns off the streets is through their Gun Stoppers program. It offers up to $500 in exchange for tips about illegal guns.