Community ready to ask questions at public police chief forum

Finalists announced for Wichita Police Chief position. Gordon Ramsay (l), Jeff Spivey (r).

WICHITA, Kansas –  We’re down to two candidates for the city’s next police chief and on Monday night they’ll get to talk with and hear from the community during a public forum.

This is a hiring decision city and community leaders aren’t taking lightly.

Both Jeff Spivey, Assistant Chief at the Irving Police Department and Gordon Ramsay, the long time Chief in Duluth, Minnesota will be on hand to answer questions the crowd has for them.

During the previous public forum in August, about 100 people turned out at the Century II Convention Hall. City officials say they expect a similar, if not bigger crowd for this forum.

Khondoker Usama, the Wichita State Student Government Association Vice President and Vice President of the Fairmount Neighborhood Association says he’ll have a lot of questions for both Spivey and Ramsay.

“What type of training will the new police chief be starting in his police station or implementing for his staff in terms of diversity issues,” said Usama.

Usama has been entrenched in making his neighborhood near WSU safer, after two tragedies struck the area in the past year.

“I’m optimistic that whoever becomes the next police chief of this great city’s police department, I hope would emphasis using community policing,” said Usama.

It’s a sentiment city officials, like Wichita City Councilman James Clendenin echoes.

“I’ll be asking the police chief candidates are what are there ideas about community policing, how they feel they’d like to implement community policing,” said Clendenin.

Clendenin says this forum provides a different dynamic with both candidates coming from outside of Wichita.

Clendenin adds he feels it’s imperative that the community turn out to get their questions heard and answered.

“If you want a police chief that’s going to represent you and your interest, be tough on crime but also be understanding of the sensitivities of our community you need to come,” said Clendenin.

The forum is set to kick off at six o’clock at the Century II Convention Hall.

As of Friday, the city says they have had over 40 questions that have been submitted for the two candidates.

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