Opinion Columns & Blogs

Public can help Layton bring police chief search to end

It would be great if the city of Wichita could start 2016 with something it has lacked since mid-2014 – a permanent police chief. Toward that goal, City Manager Robert Layton will moderate a public forum from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday in Century II Convention Hall with Gordon Ramsay and Jeff Spivey, the two finalists that emerged from 62 applicants after Layton relaunched the search in September. Ramsay has been police chief since 2006 in Duluth, Minn., and Spivey has served since 2011 as assistant chief in Irving, Texas. With Wichita at 31 homicides and counting for 2015 (up from a total 26 in 2014 and 17 in 2013), and recent cases of shootings by officers and credibility issues within the department, the sooner Layton can identify and hire the right chief for Wichita, the better. The public can help, by attending the forum and providing feedback. – Rhonda Holman