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Wichita poised to hire search firm to help find its next police chief

Abigail Beckman
Wichita is looking for a new police chief after Gordon Ramsay stepped down this month.

The City Council is expected to approve a contract this week with Public Sector Search & Consulting.

UPDATE: The Wichita City Council unanimously approved the contract at its March 8 meeting. City Manager Robert Layton also clarified that the search could take up to five months, which differs from the contract's 90-120 day timeline.

The City of Wichita could have a new police chief by the end of the summer.

According to a contract between the city and Public Sector Search & Consulting, a “standard search process” can take between 90 and 120 days.

Public Sector Search & Consulting was selected unanimously by a city committee to conduct a search for the new police chief. The Wichita City Council will vote on the proposed contract Tuesday.

“They have a very robust citizen engagement process,” City Manager Robert Layton said Friday at the council’s agenda review.

Wichita’s previous police chief, Gordon Ramsay, left the department at the beginning of March.

The search firm will be paid at least $48,000 to conduct the search, which will also include interviewing candidates and organizing community forums. Payments to the search firm will be made in three parts.

The city could also pay up to an additional $10,000 in search expenses.

In 2015, the city paid at least $36,000, plus additional expenses, to the International Association of Chiefs of Police to conduct its search that ultimately hired Ramsay.

Public Sector Search & Consulting conducted the search for Kansas City, Missouri’s, most recent police chief. KCMO Police Chief Rick Smith is reportedly retiring this year, following calls for his resignation.

According to the search firm, more than 60% of its police chief searches selected a candidate “from a traditionally underrepresented group.”

Lemuel Moore was appointed to lead the department until a new police chief is selected.

Kylie Cameron (she/her) is a general assignment reporter for KMUW. Before KMUW, Kylie was a digital producer at KWCH, and served as editor in chief of The Sunflower at Wichita State. You can follow her on Twitter @bykyliecameron.