County commission working on final steps for new Law Enforcement Training Center

Photo of the new Law Enforcement Training Center on WSU’s Innovation Campus. (Photo Courtesy: WSU)
Photo of the new Law Enforcement Training Center on WSU’s Innovation Campus. (Photo Courtesy: WSU)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Sedgwick County Commission has taken one of the final steps in making the new Law Enforcement Training Center a reality.

On Monday, the commission unanimously agreed to manage and operate the new center approving an inter-local agreement.

Lt. Lin Dehning with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office said the new facility is important for all departments.

“There are some differences between our policies, there are some differences between that we enforce state statute and they enforce city ordinances, but a lot of the training we do is of a national standard anyway so we might as well do it together.”

And for years, that’s been the case. but after watching their training facility become less than ideal, officials from the city and county decided it was time for a change.

“We have been training in a joint academy for decades. The current academy is, pretty much reaching the end of its natural life I guess you could say.”

Back in May, the city and county approved a letter of intent to build the new center on Wichita State’s Innovation Campus.

A move applauded by both the police department and the sheriff’s office.

“They were good options, not downplaying those whatsoever, but we’re looking at what’s the best option for the community and for law enforcement and I think that’s what this is,” said Sheriff Jeff Easter.

“That’s a major feeder for our police recruits, WSU is contributing a lot to this project,” said Chief Gordon Ramsay, Wichita Police Department.

It would allow for a new space to be in, more opportunities for recruiting, and more access to instructors to help train new hires.

And to those within the departments, having the two entities train together is a no brainer.

“When the deputies and the new police officers hit the streets, if there’s a major event,they will be responding to that together. So it makes sense that they’re trained together.”

Now just when that facility will open is still unknown. Officials with the sheriff’s office say it will likely be ready some time in 2018.

The next approvals will come from the city and then the attorney general’s office.