The year 2014 mark the 62nd anniversary of the
Wichita Crime Commission, making our organization one of the oldest
citizen-based crime commissions in the United States.
On August 31,
1951 the U.S. Senate Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate
Commerce issued its final report, capping more than a year of hearings chaired
by Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver. The
committee’s final report concluded that “A great step forward would be
accomplished in the field of law enforcement if privately constituted crime
commissions… could be established in every city in the United States where
organized crime presents a serious problem.”
Although organized crime was not a serious problem in Wichita in 1952, it was in that political
climate that the Wichita Crime Commission was founded as a private, nonprofit,
nonpartisan group of business and professional men and women whose goal was to
prevent the entrenchment of organized crime in the community, and to encourage
greater interest by the public in the prevention of crime and the enforcement
of criminal laws.
For the past 62 years, the history of the Crime commission has been one of cooperation with
local, state and federal agencies and other citizen’s groups engaged in the
fight against crime.
Crime Commission is not a law enforcement agency. It is an organization of concerned citizens
who exercise the right to investigate community conditions and work to improve
those areas which are deemed to be unacceptable. Membership in the Wichita Crime Commission is by invitation only.
However, members may choose their own level of involvement in the organization.
Wichita Crime Commission has a strong focus on young people. For example, each summer LAW Camp helps many
middle- and high-school-age children learn leadership and team-building skills
while they also learn such things as flag etiquette and appreciation for law
enforcement officers. LAW Camp, a
project of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, has turned around the lives of
hundreds of young people.
Choices, another Crime Commission program, works with high school students,
showing them the rewards of making good life choices and the consequences of
making bad ones.
One of the Make
Good Choices program is the Gang Free Wichita project. It helps young people, their family members
and the community-at-large understand the threat gangs pose to our community’s
quality of life and economic viability. The
website, www.GangFreeWichita.org, is the only such community-wide gang resource in the state of
Cosponsor of the largest annual Gang and Drug Training Conference offered to law enforcement officers in the Midwest;
Overseeing the Crime Stoppers of Wichita/Sedgwick County program;
Cosponsor of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Annual Law Camp which is designed to present a positive criminal justice message to more than 200 “at risk” young people;
Taking public positions for and against proposed legislation related to criminal justice issues;
Conducting monthly informational luncheon meetings at which Commission members are briefed by high ranking criminal justice officials;
Monitoring high profile criminal court cases;
Organizing and producing an annual awards dinner at which a forum is provided to pay tribute and tell the story of outstanding performances by greater Wichita area law enforcement professionals;
Serving as community advisors to the Regional Community Police Training Institute at Wichita State University.
Working closely with USD 259 and School Resource Officers to provide support for ongoing student related programs.
Working with law enforcement crime prevention units to assist in getting information to the public.
The Crime Commission is funded 100% by membership contributions. It has been designated by the Internal Revenue Service as a Not-for-Profit Organization with 501(c) 3 status, therefore identifying contributions as tax deductible. As a private, volunteer driven not-for-profit citizen’s organization, the Commission embodies the essential alliance and partnership between the public and private sectors concerned about crime.
“The stylized W for Wichita defines the organization’s parameters
“Twelve gold bars symbolize the 12 founders and form the eagle’s
wingspan. Gold is the standard by which value is measured and the value
of justice is golden.”
“The eagle soars above the surface of everyday activities. The panoramic
view is vital to the gathering of information and the eagle’s role is to watch, to
observe and to analyze from a central position yet aloof from the arena.”
“The eagle is a keen-eyed, hardy, independent creature, recognized and
respected as a law-and-order symbol.”