Sedgwick County deputies fired, resigned and suspended following months-long investigation
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office is talking about an investigation they've been conducting for the last several months which is leading to two deputies being fired, one quitting, and one supervisor being temporarily suspended due to inappropriate comments and actions.
The investigation began in February 2023 when the department got reports of two deputies pointing their loaded handguns at each other. Another deputy reported it because they were worried someone was going to get hurt.
The sheriff's office began an investigation immediately. Sedgwick County Undersheriff Brian White says they took it extremely seriously because this behavior is dangerous.
"People can be hurt or killed as a result of that behavior. I think we can all remember some story of somebody that was shot accidentally," White explains.
Throughout the investigation White, Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter, and other officials interviewed 32 deputies to find out what all was going on. In doing this they discovered two other issues.
One of these is a supervisor who was accused of making racist and inappropriate comments.
White told KAKE news this sergeant said, "This is America, speak English," to a Hispanic deputy.
The supervisor was suspended for two days but in the investigation it was found that this is not a common occurrence so he is back working with the force. White says going forward the Sheriff's department is beginning diversity, equity, and inclusion training for everyone as well as a sexual harassment training for supervisors.
This supervisor was also found to have said, "grrr," to a woman deputy and that was thought to have sexual overtones. This is why supervisors are beginning this new training.
"There is no ongoing or systemic, racist behavior," he said, explaining why the supervisor is back at work.
The other issue they found in the investigation is a deputy who created a fake 911 call because she didn't want to go to a car stop that another deputy was at.
In addition to this the investigation found she had also made some inappropriate comments. Due to both of these factors she was facing termination and she resigned in late July. This deputy was with the Sheriff's Department for over five years.
Undersheriff White said lying is unacceptable.
"I go and talk to the recruits when they start the Academy. The very first day, the sheriff and I go and other top level executives with the sheriff's office, and we tell them on the very first day of work, lying will get you fired. Unacceptable. This is completely unacceptable behavior," he said.
Two other deputies were caught lying during the investigation. The two deputies that pointed their loaded guns at each other both said this was the first time they ever did it but witnesses say otherwise.
White believes integrity is the cornerstone of who the Sheriff's Office is and because the deputies were lying in the middle of an investigation they were fired. These deputies were both with the Sheriff's Office for 3-5 years.
"The public is relying on us to be honest, trustworthy, and we have to uphold that as one of the highest, most important things that we require from our staff."