Garden City PD chief, citizens, talk about terror plot at seminar

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It has been almost four months since three men allegedly attempted to execute a terror plot against Somali immigrants in Garden City.

Thursday afternoon, the Garden City police chief, as well as Somali immigrants spoke at Wichita State, detailing the terror plot and some of the lessons learned since.

Garden City Police Chief Michael Utz laid out a detailed timeline into the foiled plot.

“Early morning, Patrick Stein and Gavin Wright were arrested,” said Utz.

“7 a.m. on the 14th, I briefed my command staff and let them know what transpired,” added Utz.

Utz spoke about how when he became police chief in December of 2015, he began trying to form a relationship with the Somali community.

It’s something he says helped during the tense moments following the terror plot.

“By building this relationship that we built, we were able to come together as a community, so that I, as well as the FBI, could explain to everyone that the individuals that were involved were in custody,” said Utz.

Ifrah Ahmed is from Somalia and lives in Garden City.

She stressed the importance of the police being their for her community during that time.

“They made us feel safe and whatever it took, the chief of police and his team were going to protect us and help us,” said Ahmed.

Something Ahmed feels all communities should take note of.

“When there is a better relationship, you can prevent a lot of things, it is a key,” said Ahmed.

Larry Paine, the City Administrator for Hillsboro, attended the presentation.

He spoke about his biggest takeaway he got out of it.

“I think the key part about that is to be able to look at and see the diversity in your community and then how to work with it,” said Paine.

The three men arrested in that case have a court date in April.

Curtis Allen has been charged with one count of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and illegally having firearms after a domestic battery conviction.

Patrick Stein is facing the weapon of mass destruction charge and gun violations.

Officials charged Gavin Wright with conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction.

All three men will be in court on April 25th.

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