WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The City of Wichita tweeted on Tuesday afternoon that Joseph Sullivan will serve as the next chief of the Wichita Police Department (WPD).
Sullivan has 25 years of law enforcement and management experience. He comes to Wichita from Philadelphia, where he was the Deputy Commissioner. He oversaw a force of 4,698 officers and civilian personnel and was responsible for the department’s $750 million budget.
“I’m very humbled at the trust that the city of Wichita has put in me,” Sullivan said. “And I look forward to getting out there as quickly as possible and earning that trust and faith that they put in me and, you know, really engaging with the community and becoming a part of the community myself.”
Sullivan said his biggest priority is trust between the police force and the public.
“I want to hear what people in those communities think is good about the department and what’s bad about the department, what needs to be done, how we can best improve it, and how we can best go about serving them and what kind of community programs they’d like to see,” Sullivan said.
Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple released a statement on his Twitter account welcoming Sullivan to Wichita.
“Chief Sullivan truly impressed me with his community focused policing philosophy and also his no nonsense, direct communication style,” Whipple’s tweet said. “I look forward to working with him as we build the best Police Department in the Country!
Sullivan will be paid a salary of $210,000 annually and will begin in December.
City of Wichita officials say that 19 candidates were vetted for the position. The position has been open since March 2022, when former Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay left the position and moved out of state.
As of Oct. 3, it was narrowed down to two candidates, Mario Knapp and Sullivan.
“Joe Sullivan has a proven ability to successfully lead and manage a world-class police department. I have every confidence that he is the right person at the right time to take on the challenging task of ensuring Wichita residents have trust in the integrity and transparency of our police department,” City Manager Robert Layton said. “His experience in patrol leadership will help us as we work to enhance patrol operations. He joins us at a crucial time for the Wichita Police Department and will help guide us through a period of change. I look forward to welcoming him to Wichita.”
Lem Moore and Troy Livingston served as Interim Police Chiefs since that time. Interim Chief Livingston will continue to serve until December and help assist with the transition.