By Emily Younger
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -
Wichita Police and the Old Town Association announced today the first phase of security improvements in Old Town.
Besides an increased police presence there will be more lighting and better tracking of trouble makers in bars.
One of the important things that the Old Town Association is doing to try and improve security it to get all the bars to us this. It's called Bar Shield.
First used at the Old Town bar and restaurant, the Pump House, Bar Shield is used by the doorman to scan ID's. If a patron causes problems that are captured on one of the bars 44 security cameras, General Manager Daron Adelgren says they can ban that person from coming back.
"So this tool Bar Shield has given us the ability to ban people who are just that," Adelgren said. "Out to cause problems or people who create scenarios for us that are not good for business."
The concern arose from a March incident during which four people received minor gunshot wounds outside another Old Town club.
Old town is also adding 16 new security lights.
"We're very serious about creating a safe and inviting environment where we really get rid of those individuals, those very few individuals, who are causing the majority of our problems," Old Town Association President Jason Van Sickle said.
With Bar Shield, the name and picture of those causing trouble is instantly shared with other old town bars. It also catches a fake ID and flags someone who is under the age of 21.
"Anything they can do to attract people and make them feel safer is great with me," said Mike Frederick who was eating lunch with a friend at an Old Town restaurant.
Some people have privacy concerns about Bar Shield capturing a patron's name and picture. But that doesn't bother another lunch goer, Curtis Peck. "Privacy concerns. I guess my position is typically, keep your nose clean and it's not going to be a problem."
Van Sickle said 100% of Old Town's dozen or so bars are on board with the Bar Shield system. And in a few weeks, other security measures will be announced.