WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — After six years as Wichita’s police chief, Gordon Ramsay says he will move back home to Minnesota to be with his aging father and family. He says he hopes to enjoy more time with his family no matter what he decides to pursue.
In his time with the Wichita Police Department (WPD), Ramsay created the city’s first citizens review board, implemented body cameras for all swat and patrol officers, and developed a program to help track stolen guns. He also worked with multiple agencies to build Kansas’ first gun-crime intelligence center.
With the resignation, the City of Wichita is starting the search for a new chief. City leaders say they are fortunate that Ramsay’s stay with the department will continue through March, providing them valuable time for an important transition.
“It’s not like we lose a chief tomorrow, and now, we’re running around trying to fill any gaps. Having our chief here shows his commitment to the community and Wichita as a whole,” Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple explained.
While city leaders didn’t say Chief Gordon Ramsay would have control of who is the next chief, Wichita City Council member Bryan Frye says he hopes Ramsay will provide some input.
“He’s been doing it for the last six years,” Frye explained. “He’s been our boots on the ground and knows the lay of the land. I definitely want his involvement on that.”
Both Mayor Whipple and council member Frye say one of the most important needs in their next police chief is to continue Chief Ramsay’s legacy of community policing.
“My vision for this is to make sure we have community input and make sure we have people at the table who can help ensure that that our chief’s legacy continues with the next person,” Whipple added.
Sedgwick County Commission Chairman Pete Meitzner says he hopes the next chief will have a focus on reaching out to other communities in the county.
“The future chief will be a challenge. There are some communities that have a wide array of opinions of police, police enforcement, police leadership, and it’ll be a challenge, but we’re a good community.”
Frye says the next steps for the city should be deciding on an interim chief who can learn under Ramsay and either take over as chief or be able to fill those shoes until a permanent replacement is hired.