Shawnee County District Attorney pushes for two positions focusing on violence, human trafficking

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay told the Shawnee County Commission on Thursday he wants to make the community safer by creating two new positions.

One position would oversee the SAVE Project, a program targeting the prevention of violence beginning with young people.

“We are losing lives in our community. Lives are being taken, innocent lives. And it’s our responsibility to act,” Kagay said.

The other position would be an investigator who would look into human trafficking cases in the area.

“People today around the world, but even here in our state and our own community are in sexual slavery. They’re being held against their will, they’re being forced to do unspeakable things every day, countless times a year,” Kagay said.

To salary the positions, Kagay asked county leaders for an additional $155,000 in the department’s 2021 budget.

Almost every county department is requesting more funding in the next budget, said Shawnee County Commissioner Aaron Mays.

However, the commission is hoping to keep a flat budget as not to raise the mill levy, however Mays said the district attorney’s programs are being considered.

“Violence is something that we need to address in new, creative ways, and this is a program that’s seen the results in other communities, and so it’s important I think that we take those steps to try and reduce violence in any way we can,” Mays said.

The county commission will make a final decision on Monday, Aug. 10.

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