Wichita police chief talks change in practice with officers arrested, charged with crime

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita Police Department is making changes to their practices for how they deal with officers who have been arrested and charged with a crime.

This comes after two WPD officers, accused in separate incidents, were put on non-paid administrative leave Tuesday.

Jax Rutledge has been charged with misdemeanor domestic battery and with criminal deprivation of property. Police say the charges stem from an incident in October when she was off duty.

Josh Price faces a couple of misdemeanors and a felony after his arrest in October. Police say it involves offical misconduct and stalking.

Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay says it is a change to the way they’ve done things in the past.

“That when an officer is put on leave until the conclusion of the internal investigation that they are paid,” said Chief Ramsay.

It is a practice that will now see a change.

“As we’ve evaluated our practice, and it’s our belief that more in line with community expectations, when an officer is charged with a crime where their police certification can be revoked, that they go on un-paid leave, instead of paid leave,” said Chief Ramsay.

All officers in Kansas must be certified through CPOST, the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training.

CPOST has 58 administrative regulations that spell out the kind of conduct officers or applicants should not engage in.

They include sexual battery, endangering a child, disorderly conduct, criminal deprivation of property and stalking.

“You know, I strongly believe when an officer is charged with a serious crime that they should not continue to receive their salary, so it will be the practice going forward,” said Chief Ramsay.

KSN did speak with a few community activist about this new practice.

“It’s a way of the chief letting community know it’s not business as usual. There has to consequences for all actions,” said Pastor Roosevelt DeShazer, leader of Wichita’s God Squad.

The two WPD officers put on non-paid administrative leave earlier this week are the first officers to be affected by this new practice.

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