TOPEKA (KSNT) – Washburn University’s new president is weighing in on campus safety amid a recent spike in murders across Topeka.

Dr. JuliAnn Mazachek issued a statement to Washburn faculty, staff and students on Wednesday, Oct. 18 on community safety. The statement came shortly after students returned to campus following fall break.

“I want to take a moment to address recent community violence in concentrated areas of the city, including several locations close to our Washburn campuses. Please know that I and all cabinet members share your concerns. We have had multiple conversations over the last several days and weeks. This is a community problem that will take the entire community to solve, so we are initiating dialogue with community partners to ensure Washburn is part of this important conversation.

Washburn University Police Chief Chris Enos and his team are doing commendable work to create the safest environment possible for our students, faculty and staff on our campuses. Our officers work with local and state law enforcement to share resources and work together when not only responding to incidents but preventing them. Numerous proactive initiatives are already in place while more will soon be implemented.

I encourage each of us to stay connected to Washburn Police. As the saying goes, “if you see something, say something.” Simply call or text 785-670-1300 and relay any information or concerns.

Thank you for your support of Washburn’s Police Department as well as officers and other leaders throughout our city and county. Safety is a top priority and we will continue to work together in making Washburn a premier place to live, learn, work and thrive.”

Dr. JuliAnn Mazachek, Washburn University president

Topeka is experiencing a sharp rise in homicide cases for 2023, hitting the all-time record earlier this month when a shooting victim was found near Washburn’s campus. The number of homicides put Topeka’s per capita homicide count ahead of other cities, like Chicago, which have high numbers of murders every year.

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