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Crime and Courts

Event Reveals Body Cameras Coming To All Wichita Police Officers

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Sean Sandefur
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A public discussion was held in Wichita last month called "No Ferguson Here." It was a local response to the shooting of an unarmed young black man in Ferguson Missouri. Wichita City officials and community members came together to discuss racial tensions in their own communities. Wednesday night, that discussion continued with a program of music and prayer at St. Mark United Methodist Church. 

With hands held high in the air, people prayed for peace—not only for Wichita, but throughout the country. In attendance were members of the Greater Wichita Ministerial League, as well as City Manager Bob Layton. He said he’s met with area pastors since the No Ferguson Here meeting held last month at Wichita East High School.

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Credit Sean Sandefur
The event featured music and prayer. Members of the Greater Wichita Ministerial League were in attendance, as well as City Manager Bob Layton.

“There were five issues that came out of the comments that were made at Wichita East High. We talked about those issues and how we were going to pursue those going forward,” Layton says.

One of those issues was the desire for Wichita Police officers to wear body cameras at all times.

“We are going to get the body cameras purchased and we are going to implement that over a period of time,” Layton says. “I have to buy them in phases, partly because of supply, and also, we need to train all of our officers. Cameras aren’t any good if we don’t have procedures established.”

At last week’s city council meeting, concerns were raised that the group of pastors city officials are meeting with don’t represent the entire community in Wichita. Layton says there will be an additional, open community meeting scheduled to address the city’s plans for their police department. They have not yet chosen a sate for that meeting.

Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter, @SeanSandefur