WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita Police Department Chief Gordon Ramsay is responding to the community’s demands for change in policing policies.
This comes after the Racial Profiling Advisory Board hosted a town hall last week where community members created a list of recommendations for police and elected officials. Recent events across the country have brought to the forefront the need to rigorously review local police policies and protocols.
Chief Ramsay says the department had already been working on some of the requests for several years.
The WPD and city officials are addressing 16 demands in their response to the community.
Some of those demands, the WPD and city of Wichita agree to implement, that includes de-escalation policy and banning choke, knee, and strangle holds.
The WPD is revising its use for force policy to include more details about an officer’s duty to intervene if they see wrongdoing by another officer.
When it comes to defunding the police department, they said it would create gaps in services like homelessness and mental health.
They also believe the citizens review board can perform its duties without the need of subpoena power.
“No knock warrants, the concerns over qualified immunity, some of the cases we completely agree, and we’ve already changed some of the policies to match,” said Chief Ramsay. “We also recognize that our job is far from done in that we still have a lot of work to do.”
Ramsay would go on to say the department does not agree with the banning of no knock warrants.
For the Wichita United advocacy group, they say they feel heard.
“Now that you know they’ve been transparent about some stuff that actually has given us some knowledge about some tools and some resources that we actually do have in place because of WPD and that actually makes us feel good,” said Wichita United Executive Director Dr. Willie Scott Jr.
While the group doesn’t agree with everything the WPD has responded to, he believes further discussions will help them all find middle ground.
“Those are subjects we definitely want to continue to talk about,” he said.