A 44-year-old Wichita man is in jail for allegedly threatening his girlfriend and killing her puppy.

Officers on the WPD’s new DIVRT program were able to track down and arrest the suspect. He was found Thursday in the 4200 block of south Broadway, and booked for criminal threat and cruelty to animals.

The new DIVRT team has been operating for a little more than six weeks, and has made at least 60 arrests in that time.

This team’s goal is to hold suspects accountable for their actions, while giving victims the help they need. When officers are called to a domestic violence situation, the suspect may have left, and the officers are unable to look for the person because of other calls. The DIVRT team is able to focus on finding suspects and follow up with victims as needed. Education will also be a focus, as the WPD works to prevent reoccurring instances of violence.

Three women and three men went through a rigorous selection process to become part of the DIVRT team. Funding comes from a Department of Justice grant that keeps the program running through 2023.

The Wichita Police Department is urging anyone in an abusive relationship to take advantage of the following resources.

  • Sedgwick County, 911;
  •  Harbor House Domestic Violence Shelter, 263-6000;
  • Wichita Family Crisis Center, 267-7233;
  • Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center, 263-3002;
  • StepStone, 265-1611; or
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office also has a list of resources available, along with a tool to let people find the custody status of a potential abuser.

Sedgwick County Domestic Violence Resources