Moran, Barr visit WSU for roundtable on reducing violent crime


Easton Thompson

United States Attorney General William Barr speaks about reducing violent crime in Wichita on Wednesday during a visit to the Law Enforcement Training Center at Wichita State’s main campus.

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Attorney General William Barr participated in a roundtable with local law enforcement Wednesday at Wichita State’s Law Enforcement Training Center.

Barr, who would not take questions from the press, discussed lowering violent crime via federal programs in his opening statement.

“We’re going to bring more resources to the table, expand our task forces,” Barr said of his approach to combatting violent crime.

Barr said there are some cities, especially in rural areas, that have seen an increase in crime recently.

“There’s still some places around the country where the crime rate is substantially above the national average and we’re seeing some upticks in crime,” Barr said. “Not only in our big cities, but we’re also seeing crime in some rural areas start going up as some of the drug-trafficking organizations are avoiding the enforcement regimes of the bigger cities.”

Moran said that in his role as the chairman of the appropriations subcommittee, which appropriates money for the Department of Justice, he has channeled more money towards preventing law enforcement suicides.

“This is sad to me that this is necessary,” Moran said.


Barr, as the attorney general, is the head of the Justice Department.

Moran also discussed the need for funding to address mental health and drug problems at the local level, which he cited as an underlying cause of violent crime.

“I hear it from law enforcement officials . . . all the time is that we are housing people who we can’t help, but they are in our jails,” Moran said. “They need care and treatment.”

Moran emphasized the need for funding and resources from multiple levels of the government to reduce crime.

“Kansas is a place where I don’t think you can be safe and secure without the cooperation of state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies.”

Wichita has received multiple grants and resources from the Department of Justice over the last year in an effort to reduce violent crime in the city.

“I wanted to come here to Kansas because this is one of the most successful federal, state, and local law enforcement partnerships we have in the country,” Barr said.

The Law Enforcement Training Center is located on WSU’s Innovation Campus. Local law enforcement officials were involved in the roundtable, as well as WSU’s Interim President Andy Tompkins and Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer John Tomblin. Former Kansas Board of Regents member David Murfin was also in attendance.