WPD homicide unit balancing caseload, overtime hours

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) With 37 homicides so far in Wichita, this team has been put to the test.

“We work together,” says Officer Charley Davidson. “The Wichita Police Department is a team.”

Especially the homicide unit

“Obviously we are trying to gather information about what had occurred and our job as a police department is to bring closure to the case,” says Davidson.

6 detectives make up the homicide unit, each handling about 5-6 cases.

A full plate, but they do have some backup.

“You have got gang violent crime task force. You have robbery detectives. You have domestic violence. We can call resources in to help,” explains Davidson.

Short staffing means often times law enforcement agencies nationally are having to pay thousands in overtime. That is a word some may get exhausted at just hearing. In May Police Chief Gordon Ramsay requested dozens more officers after a study found the department was understaffed, but Davidson says, even with the department being understaffed, and recent homicides, they can handle the load.

“It doesn’t seem drastically different from it was for the rest of this year,” he says.

In November, one of this years most violent months, detectives only needed to work on average 15.5 hours of overtime. That is tied for the third highest month, and behind January at 17.3 hours and September with 19.7 hours.

Even with 10 homicide cases left unsolved, Davidson is confident that the homicide unit is equipped to get the job done.

“It is important to remember that we have only had three more homicides than we had last year,” explains Davidson.