New Wichita Citizen's Review Board approved

Posted: Updated:
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

The Wichita City Council unanimously voted to approve a new Wichita Citizen's Review Board, to replace the current City Manager Review Board.

"This is just another step in what you're doing for our community, raising the bar, and everyone's expectations. I applaud you for it," said Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell.

Longwell was complimentary of Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay's efforts in building community relations and initiating this new board.

"They will get to pull back the layers, poke, prod, peel, ask to make us better. They will get to see video. They will get to see the reports," said Ramsay.

The new board will review citizen complaints and department policy and practices. They will also provide input to the Wichita City Council and the Wichita Police Department regarding racial and biased-based policing issues. 

The seven-member board will not have power to subpoena officers to testify.

"I feel good about it. it's not like they haven't been trying to do this. but i think this time, we're getting ready to put some meat to it. i think it's highly needed. i just hope that the review board have some impact on what's being done," said David Gilkey, program director for Rise Up For Youth. 
 
"We have a lot of work still yet to do. but i believe we're headed in the right direction. and we'll be that model or that example to the country of how a city should be and relationship between community and police officers," said Pastor Roosevelt DeShazer of the Greater Wichita Ministerial League.

Ramsay also highlighted several promises kept since the Summer 2016 Community Cookout, aimed at improving police and community relations.

Those highlights included having all Wichita Police field personnel having body worn cameras to assist in the documentation of police and community interaction and Implicit Bias Training (Fair and Impartial Policing) for all 650 staff members this month.

"There was a lot of great things that came out of that. We had a dialogue and a discussion and the police department, we committed to doing some things differently," said Ramsay.

To apply for the Wichita Citizen's Review Board, an applicant must be at least 18-year-old and a US citizen. The individual will have to pass a criminal background check, attend the Citizens Police Academy, and additional training. 

The four-year terms will begin on January 1, 2018.

For more information on the Wichita Citizen's Review Board, access the October 10 agenda, by clicking here.

An application for the Wichita Citizen's Review Board will later be available on the City of Wichita page

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