WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple on Thursday talked about his recent donation of a $1,500 check to the Southwest Neighborhood Association. It follows a videotaped interaction he had with a Wichita police officer during a neighborhood cleanup event. The mayor received some fallout from that video, including calls to resign from the Fraternal Order of Police.
The association says, “Mayor Brandon Whipple placed a $1,500 check in the treasurer’s mailbox for the Southwest Neighborhood Association (SWNA), in an effort to help us have a larger budget for dumpsters at our next clean-up. The board met Monday and voted to return the check, directing all persons interested in helping to fund neighborhood clean-ups to the City of Wichita.”
During his weekly press briefing, Whipple addressed his donation.
“Now, I look back on that situation, and of course, I’ve commented extensively on that situation. One of the variables, though, I think that caused a lot of stress was the increase in demand for using dumpsters and the limitation of those dumpsters,” he said. “So what I did was I Googled the cost to put out a dumpster, and I submitted a donation to the Southwest Neighborhood Association for sponsoring two dumpsters next time around.”
Whipple said he thought it was a good gesture to help move things forward and give back to the community.
“What I heard back from the neighborhood association was that, in this moment, we actually fund neighborhood cleanups different than they did back when I was an officer in the neighborhood association, so because of that, they said that the funding is now coming directly from the city not through the neighborhood association so they said we can’t actually buy two new dumpsters with this contribution.”
When asked about resigning, the mayor said he is focused on his job.
“Frankly, it’s the political season, and I think that this comes with that political season,” Whipple said. “We have a new police chief that is going to come in, and I want to make sure that that police chief helps us in the mission to create Wichita as having the greatest police force in the entire country.”
The Fraternal Order of Police Wichita Lodge 5 says the mayor, “should make a public apology to the Wichita Police Department and the officer involved in the released video. This apology is not only for the Mayor’s actions on the day of the ‘clean up’ event, but for all his actions and words afterward where he defamed the officer and police officers at-large, along with the actions of his political strategists, who spread misinformation and launched vile attacks at the officer.”