Juvenile Intervention Unit

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The Wichita Police Department (WPD), in collaboration with Sedgwick County Juvenile Services, has created a WPD Juvenile Intervention Unit (JIU).

Youth who offend at a young age are more likely to become chronic and violent offenders as they age, and the best opportunity to intervene is as early as possible. Therefore, two JIU officers work daily in the community building relationships with area youth and youth providers.

Because the first contact is often the police, we are in a position to be the most helpful. JIU staff coordinate with child welfare groups, schools, treatment providers, and youth organizations to more effectively help Wichita's youth. The focus of this specialized team is to proactively address youth involved in gangs and illegal behavior.

The team uses established practices such as focused deterrence, diversion, and restorative justice to keep youth out of the criminal justice system and onto positive paths by increasing their access to service providers in our community.

Complete the Juvenile Intervention Unit Referral Form to get started.

Get to Know Us

Officer Alex Avendaño

Alex Avendano - Original SizeOfficer Alex "Avi" Avendaño has been serving the City of Wichita since 2006 as a Wichita Police Officer. Officer Avi is fluent in Spanish and spent most of his career patrolling 48 beat, which is located in the north neighborhoods of Wichita. His primary focus was gangs, drugs, prostitution, and club licensing. Throughout his years working with the department, he assisted several teams within the department as well as many surrounding agencies such as SCAT, Gang, ATF, DEA, and Narcotics.

During his career as a patrol officer, he received several awards including two Bronze Wreaths of Merit and Officer of the Month. In 2018, he was assigned to West High School as a School Resource Officer, where his passion for helping our community's youth evolved. Officer Avi is committed to helping youth avoid incarceration, achieve their goals, and live a more positive lifestyle.

Currently, Officer Avi is assigned to the Juvenile Intervention Unit. He recently created a YouTube channel and is active on social media to create positive interactions, educate the community, and inform the youth. He is hopeful that through sharing his life lessons and experiences he will be able to positively influence young adults.

Visit Officer Alex Avendaño's Facebook page.

Officer Chad Ditch

Chad Ditch - Original SizeOfficer Chad Ditch aka Officer Chad has been serving the City of Wichita since 2015. Officer Chad was the primary beat officer for South City or 26 beat for several years before becoming a member of the Community Response Team at Patrol East. He was a part of Operation Triple Beam in 2019 which targeted the most Violent Offenders in Wichita. Officer Chad then transitioned into Patrol East Community Policing and became the Beat Coordinator for Planeview. Officer Chad really enjoyed this time as he got to work daily with the kids and staff at Colvin Elementary as well as being a part of large community events to help serve underprivileged families in Wichita.

After a few years as a CP Officer, he became the Public Information Officer working directly for the Chief of Police. Officer Chad took advantage of this time and began working directly with Youth organizations such as the Youth Education Empowerment Program (Y.E.E.P.) and Teenview Magazine.

Officer Chad really enjoys utilizing the skills he has acquired with social media and communications in order to highlight the Wichita Police Department and the great city of Wichita. He enjoys having those difficult conversations to help provide services to the youth of our city and their families.

One thing Officer Chad credits to his success is "You have to be comfortable, being uncomfortable. Sometimes taking a leap of faith is stressful but in order to succeed we have to push ourselves to our limits and then further."