Wichita officials offer perspectives on Dallas shootings

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell and Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay held a media briefing Friday to share their perspectives on the recent shootings in Dallas and other areas across the country.

Both the mayor and police chief gave out their sincerest condolences to the families who have been affected by the shootings this past week. Chief Ramsay said this is a tough time to be a police officer and he understands that emotions are running high.

He did participate in a conference call with the FBI to learn more about the specific investigation in Dallas. He says there’s been no change to police procedures in Wichita. Ramsay said, the important focus now is on how officers can work together with the community to strengthen each other.

“We will work against any events generating any kind of divisiveness in our community. We want to work together and that’s the way we’re going to move forward as a community and as a country by working together,” Ramsay said.

Chief Ramsay acknowledged that there is work to do, to fight divisiveness in the Wichita community. He said its a small fraction of the time that officers deploy use of force on calls and says the recent shootings across the country has made their job more tough.

“When people are shooting, our officers have to run toward it. So yea, it’s a tough job normally, but when there’s a lot of the issues that are circulating with police right now make it tougher,” Ramsay said.

The chief said he wants officers to remained focus on the individual relationships they have with the people they deal with on the street. That’s one way he believes, Wichita as a community, will continue to work against confliction. Sedgwick County District Attorney, Marc Bennett, also spoke to that, saying the only way we can improve as a community is making sure we treat citizens with respect and rebuild their trust.

A peaceful protest in Dallas over the recent videotaped shootings of black men by police turned violent Thursday night as an unknown number of people shot at officers, killing five and injuring seven, as well as two civilians.

Full video of Friday’s press conference:

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