WICHITA, Kan. — The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office has canceled a training event that had been scheduled for next week amid controversy.
Friday afternoon, the sheriff's office issued a release saying they decided not to partner with the group sponsoring "Understanding the Threat," that was set be presented on May 28 and 29.
The Sheriff's Office issued the following statement:
After receiving significant input from varied individuals and groups both opposing and supporting the training event, the event had quickly become very controversial and sensitive to many, overshadowing the original intent of providing current and relevant training to local law enforcement on domestic and foreign terrorist activities.
Deputies receive training on topics such as: cultural awareness, diversity, gangs, cartels, domestic terrorism, tactics, human trafficking and many more each year. Each of these classes are taught by subject matter experts, but even then, we fact check and test practices on our own to determine what will work best for our agency and best serve our community. Training courses do not set agency policy and not all are mandatory.
Since 9-11, and in light of the recent attempted terrorism event at the Wichita Airport, the Sheriff’s Office is obligated to be proactive concerning extremists. The United States Attorney’s Office has contacted the Sheriff’s Office and offered to present training on the same subject matter, from currently employed Department of Justice personnel.
The Sheriff’s Office will find an instructor, either from the Department of Justice or another subject matter expert to present such materials in the future.
Late Friday night, John Guandolo, the founder of "Understanding the Threat" spoke to KAKE News, criticizing the decision to cancel his seminar. Guandolo said he was "disappointed and saddened" by the "weak decision".
Guandolo says pressure from Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood supporters lead to the decision, one he says places Kansans "in greater danger".
It's standard for law enforcement agencies to bring in outside training programs for a new perspective. But it's the program's instructor that has a national Muslim organization asking the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office to cancel.
The training program's leader, John Guandolo, will be in Wichita next Wednesday holding a course called "Understanding the Threat."
Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Dave Mattingly says, "The sheriff's office provides training on a regular basis for a multitude of religious groups and cultural groups. This is not something unusual we do."
The sheriff's office wanted to bring in Former FBI agent Guandolo because of his expertise in identifying terrorism.
"It's a class to discuss extremist groups and potential threats they could pose," Mattingly said.
At the news conference, the alleged plot to blow up a place at Wichita Mid- Continent was brought up. Mattingly said it's events like this that bring up a need for Guandolo's training program. He said, "We can't forget 9/11."
The decision to bring this training program is not sitting well with the national organization, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Both the national and state chapter of CAIR believe the instructor, Guandolo, will leave officers with a biased viewpoint of the Muslim community.
"This gentleman has a very well-known and documented history of being very notoriously anti-Islamic," said KS CAIR Chairman, Moussa Elbayoumy.
According to CAIR, Guandolo, has made remarks says that both President Obama and the current CIA Director have Muslim ties.
Even more concerning for those in CAIR, they feel Muslims will be labeled as suspicious. Elbayoumy said, "any interaction they (police) have with Muslims will be biased and really twisted. And thinking that those people are not good people."
While the national and state chapter of CAIR have expressed wanting the training to be canceled, the sheriff's office isn't budging.
Mattingly said, "Again, this training is not intended to create dislike for our Muslim community, but quite the opposite."
The sheriff's office believes those taking the course can gather their own opinions, Mattingly said, "if they don't agree with it, we aren't forcing it down anyone's throat. It's not mandatory."
According to the program's website, "Understanding the Threat" will focus "is the Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) highly successful denial and deception operation in America which seeks to prevent access to accurate information about it's strategy and true political agenda, and simultaneously convince national, state, and local leaders and agencies to believe false information regarding it's motives and ultimate objective. Due in part to the failure of our leaders to abide by ancient Chinese General Sun Tsu's first maxim of victory in warfare, "know the enemy and know yourself," dereliction by the mainstream media establishment, and Americans' predilection to superimpose a Western understanding of "religion" on Islam, it can safely be said that the MB have achieved information superiority in their effort to overthrow the United States of America and reduce the American people under the tyranny of Islamic Law (a.k.a. 'The Sharia')."
The training program will be open for law enforcement all over the state. It costs $150 dollars. The two-day training will take place next Wednesday. The sheriff's office will pay for ten people to attend.
have achieved information superiority in their effort to overthrow the United States of America and reduce the American people under the tyranny of Islamic Law (a.k.a. 'The Sharia').