Norman D. Williams began his career with the Wichita Police Department in 1975 as a Patrol Officer. During his 35 years with the Police Department, he moved up through the ranks, earning promotions to Lieutenant, Captain and Deputy Chief.
On April 14, 2000, he was appointed Chief of Police for the Wichita Police Department. As the Commander of the Department, he is responsible for managing a $71 million budget and supervising 854 employees. The Wichita Police Department is the largest police department in the State of Kansas and serves a population base of over 360,000 citizens and visitors.
During his tenure as Chief, the Wichita Police Department has gained national recognition for its outstanding investigative work and community-policing philosophy, which relies upon positive interaction among police, other public servants, and community members to serve our community needs regarding safety, crime prevention, and crime-related quality of life issues.
During his first year, Chief Williams sought input from the community and Department members in developing a new Mission and Value statement for the organization. Ultimately, Command Staff developed a Mission Statement that is reflective of the Department’s community policing philosophy and focuses on problem solving in partnership with citizens. He also directed the development of three Strategic Agendas (2000-2003, 2003-2006 and 2007-2011) for the Department that is designed to enhance the Department’s community policing approach to solving and preventing crime.
In September 2006, the Wichita Police Department began a federal investigation into the Neighborhood Crips gang criminal operations. After a yearlong investigation approximately 71 individuals were charged federally with drive-by shootings, drug trafficking crimes, robbery and murder. Twenty-eight of the defendants were charged with Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). This is the first time in the history of the State of Kansas that the RICO Act has been used. In 2011, the court proceedings involving the RICO defendants was completed and 24/28 (86%) of the defendants were found guilty and sentenced to federal prisons.
Most notably, in 2005, the Wichita Police Department, under the administration of Chief Williams, solved the BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) homicides. The BTK investigation spanned over 30 years, but was solved in 11 months after BTK (Dennis Rader) resurfaced in March of 2004.
Routinely different aspects of the Wichita Police Department are featured on national television shows such as Cold Case Files, COPS, 48 Hours and many other documentary-type shows. Under Chief Williams command, the Department has continually studied process improvements, and implemented a number of programs and strategies for enhancing the Department’s customer service and overall efficiency.
During his administration the Department, in cooperation with Wichita State University, conducted two stop studies, in 2001 and 2004, to determine if Wichita Police Officers were using racial profiling in citizen stops. Both studies rank nationally as the largest and most comprehensive racial profiling studies ever conducted. The findings of both studies did not support charges that racial profiling exists in the Wichita Police Department. Nonetheless, the Department implemented a number of proactive initiatives concerning citizen stops. According to the Police Foundation 2003: A Multijurisdictional Assessment of Traffic Enforcement and Data Collection in Kansas Study “The Wichita Police Department comes as close to a department that is not engaging in racial/ethnic profiling as has been seen in studies of other police agencies”.
The Department was selected as a winner of the 2003 Webber Seavey Excellence in Law Enforcement Award for its Planeview Activity Camp for Kids Project (PACK). The Wichita Police Department is the only law enforcement agency in the world to garner Webber Seavey Award recognition three times; twice a winner of the Webber Seavey (1996 and 2003) and once as top 10 finalists (2000). Also in 2003, the Department was awarded the Boy Scouts of America Whitney Young, Jr. Community Service Award for its Camp Awareness Program.
Some of his other major accomplishments as Chief include neighborhood-basing the Traffic Section and the development and implementation of the Comprehensive Traffic Safety Plan; re-structuring the Professional Standards Bureau making it more accessible and customer friendly; and implementing the Victim’s Assistance Unit. In January 2011, the Wichita Police Department assumed responsibilities of the Animal Control operations. This transfer included 25 personnel and a budget of approximately $1.7 million dollars.
Significant infrastructure and equipment acquisitions include a new Propertyand Evidence facility, a MD 500 helicopter, a methamphetamine vehicle, a bomb truck and a SWAT truck. Technological advancements for the Department include a new public safety records system acquired in 2003, the addition of networked computers for detectives and officers, and the creation of a police situation/briefing room that is technologically advanced which can serve as a command center and/or a strategic planning center.
In 2009, the Police Department experienced significant technology enhancements, which included email accounts department wide, development and implementation of Intelligence Hubs, the new IAPro/Blue Team software for Professional Standards and the Citizen Alert Network.
In 2004, Chief Williams was tasked with the ongoing responsibility of all City Hall campus security. This assignment followed on the heels of the Wichita Police Department being assigned the responsibility of enhancing the City’s overall Homeland Security efforts.
In 2006, the City Hall Security Section was established and added to the police department. Also in 2004 he was named to the Vision Task Force for the Visioneering Wichita project, a community planning and implementation process that will produce a shared vision for the community and the region.
In 2003, in response to city growth, the City Council granted approval for Chief Williams to add two new beats to the city’s beat structure. The addition of the two beats on the east and west sides of the city allowed for a timely response to 911 calls and enhanced customer service.
Chief Williams’ education includes a Masters Degree in Public Administration; a Bachelor of Science Degree in Administration of Justice; and a Mini-Masters of Business Administration, all from Wichita State University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy (177 Session), the FBI National Executive Institute (25th Session), and the Senior Executive Program for State and Local Government at Harvard University.
He has participated in the following selective training: Law Enforcement Executive Leadership, Wichita State University; Midwest Criminal Justice Institute Law Enforcement Leadership; Leadership Wichita Program; Local Government Executive Development Program; U.S. Secret Service Dignitary Protection Seminar, and the National Crime Prevention Institute.
Chief Williams has received numerous awards and recognitions. His professional awards include: Wichita Police Department’s highest award, the Gold Wreath of Honor; numerous Department Bronze Wreaths of Meritorious Service; the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office Bronze Wreath of Meritorious Service; the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police Gold Medal of Valor; induction into the Miami National Law Enforcement Hall of Fame Honor Roll; and the United States Attorney’s Office District of Kansas Certificate of Appreciation.
Community recognitions include: Outstanding Community Service Award; Black Achievers Award; NAACP Image Award; Service and Progress to Humanity Award; Ministerial League Police Officer of the Year; Independent Insurance Women Police Officer of the Year; the Native American and Hispanic Coalition Appreciation Certificate; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Distinguished Community Service Award; and the Gamma Upsilon Chapter Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Citizen of the Year-2001. In 2006, he was selected as the Urban News Best Police Officer of the Year. In, 2008 he received the Child Start Children’s Champions Award and the New Foundation Missionary Baptist Church “Outstanding Community Leader” Award.
In 2005 Chief Williams was selected to the Sedgwick County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, and in the prestigious Leadership Kansas 2005 session.
Chief Williams has shared his knowledge of law enforcement and public administration by serving as an adjunct professor at Wichita State University. He serves as a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board and finds time in his busy schedule to volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club of South Central Kansas.
Chief Williams attributes his success to his spiritual commitments, family and friends, and the support of the community and Police Department members.