Tips for Old Town safety

Illustration+by+Tarun+Bali

Illustration by Tarun Bali

Column

After a stressful week of school, work and daily life, people look for ways to relax and unwind on the weekends. Some sleep in or enjoy time with family and friends, while others visit Wichita’s Old Town to pass the time.

Following last Sunday’s shooting near Pandora Night Club, it makes me wonder what people can do to better protect themselves in such situations. Some wonder if the Wichita Police Department is doing enough to ensure that weekend nights run smoothly.

As a frequent visitor to Old Town, it is important that my safety and the safety of others are protected. Not every visit to Old Town is to visit a bar or club. With family restaurants and the Warren Theatre, visitors utilize the atmosphere to enjoy their time and create memories.

The Wichita Police Department is doing what it can with the staff that it has to ensure public safety on the weekends. Some expect the department to put the entire force team in the area to guarantee that nothing bad will happen, but that is impossible.

It should be left up to the bar owners and security teams to help the cause. Most of the Old Town bars and clubs do not have metal detectors or screen patrons prior to allowing entrance.

Many will argue that adding additional security features may increase entrance costs or the cost of a drink or food, but I would rather pay a little more and feel protected.

When violence takes place outside of the establishment, avoid loitering once the bar or club is closed. Leaving 10 to 15 minutes prior to close can help visitors avoid traffic congestion and the possibility of violence breaking out.