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Wichita City Manager Reopens Search For Police Chief

Hugo Phan file photo

The City of Wichita will start over on its search for a new police chief after months of deliberations.

City Manager Robert Layton announced that Joel Fitzgerald, who is currently chief of police in Allentown, Pennsylvania, was offered the position here in Wichita, but turned it down. Fitzgerald is reportedly a finalist to be the new police chief in Fort Worth, Texas, a job he expressed more interest in, Layton said, adding that he is "disappointed" Fitzgerald did not accept the city's job offer.

Layton said that the other remaining finalist, Terri Moses, who served 32 years with the Wichita Police Department, isn’t what they’re looking for. He praised Moses for her dedication to Wichita, but said the city wants someone from outside of the department.

“It has been clear that we have a need for someone who brings a new and different perspective to this position," Layton said.

Watch Wichita City Manager Robert Layton make the announcement Monday:

A third candidate, Gregory W. Stevens, a former assistant police chief in Lubbock, Texas, accepted another job and dropped out of the running last month. Nelson Mosley, the current interim police chief, was not named as a finalist.

Layton said public input over a new police chief is weighing heavily on the city's decision. As a new search begins, city officials say they’ll look for candidates from outside of Wichita.

Layton said details of the new process and a timeline for hiring will be announced after a meeting with search consultants, and he still hopes to name a new police chief by the end of the year.


Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter @SeanSandefur

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