WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Two Wichita police officers have been charged in separate incidents.
According to the department, officer Jax Rutledge has been charged with one count of misdemeanor domestic battery and one count of misdemeanor criminal deprivation of property by the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office. The charges stem from an Oct. 9, 2017 incident while Rutledge was off-duty. The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest for misdemeanor domestic violence battery and theft. Rutledge has been employed as a Wichita police officer for nine years.
Meanwhile, officer Josh Price has been charged with two misdemeanors and one felony by the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office. The charges stem from an Oct. 20, 2017 arrest for misdemeanor official misconduct and stalking. The arrest was made by the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office after the Wichita Police Department requested an investigation for potential criminal conduct. Price has been on administrative leave since Oct. 20. In a change from practice, Chief Gordon Ramsay said Price has been on administrative leave without pay since Oct. 30. Price has been employed as a Wichita police officer for 18 years.
“We hold our officers to the highest standards, and accountable when they fail to meet those standards,” Chief Ramsay said in a media release.
Ramsay said placing the officers on unpaid administrative leave without pay reflects a change in the way such cases are handled within the department. If an officer is facing charges that would result in them losing their law enforcement commission, they would be impacted by the change, Ramsay said.
Ramsay told KSN the change is not a change in policies or procedures. Rather, he said it reflects a change in departmental practices that he feels falls in line with community expectations. He said the practice was put into place last fall.
Rutledge and Price are the first two officers to be affected by the new practice.
The department said the cases were investigated by the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office in a collaborative agreement to ensure transparency and avoid conflicts of interest.