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Government

Duluth's Gordon Ramsay Named As New Wichita Police Chief

gordon_ramsay_forum.jpg
Nadya Faulx
/
KMUW

The City of Wichita has hired its new police chief.

City Manager Robert Layton named Duluth, Minn., Police Chief Gordon Ramsay as the new police chief Friday morning, a little more than two weeks after he was named a finalist in the search.

Ramsay has served as police chief in Duluth since 2006 and has 22 years of law enforcement experience. His resume outlines experience in community policing, as well as relationship building with diverse groups including the NAACP and American Indian Commission.

"I'm extremely pleased we were able to reach an agreement with Gordon," Layton said during the announcement.

The other finalist in the search was Jeff Spivey, assistant police chief in Irving, Texas.

At a community forum Monday, both candidates spoke about issues related to the militarization of police, the use of lethal force, and police profiling. Ramsay noted that he thinks it is clear the public wants less use of lethal force within law enforcement.

Ramsay will take over the job from interim Police Chief Nelson Mosely, who has held the position since former Police Chief Norman Williams announced his retirement last August. Ramsay will begin on Jan. 28. He will manage a roughly $82 million budget and 836 employees in the state's largest police department.

The city had to reopen its search for a new police chief in September after months of deliberations when the finalist turned down the city’s job offer, reportedly because he was being considered for a different job.

On Twitter, the City of Wichita sent out a video message from Gordon Ramsay reacting to the decision:

Key dates in the search:

Aug. 14, 2014: Police Chief Norman Williams announces his retirement after 14 years in the role.

Sept. 5, 2014: Williams’ last day as police chief; interim Police Chief Nelson Mosley takes over.

January 2015: The city, with the help of a consulting firm, begins to recruit candidates for new police chief.

Aug. 7: Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell announces that out of a pool of about 30 candidates, the search is narrowed down to 5 finalists, including interim Police Chief Nelson Mosley. City Manager Robert Layton is expected to hire a new chief by September 2015.

Aug 20: The field is narrowed to 3 candidates: Terri Moses, executive director of safety services for the Wichita Public Schools system and former deputy chief with the Wichita Police Department; Joel F. Fitzgerald, the chief of police in Allentown, Penn.; and Gregory W. Stevens, assistant police chief in Lubbock, Texas.

Aug. 31: The two remaining candidates—after Gregory Stevens drops out of the race—answer questions at a public forum.

Sept. 21: The city re-opens the search for a police chief after Joel Fitzgerald turns down a job offer. City Manager Robert Layton says the city still has a goal of hiring a new police chief by the end of the year.

Dec. 4: Two finalists are named in the new search: Gordon Ramsay, police chief in Duluth, Minn., and Jeff Spivey, assistant police chief in Irving, Texas.

Dec. 14: Ramsay and Spivey answer questions at a community forum moderated by Robert Layton.

Dec. 18: Robert Layton announces the city has hired Gordon Ramsay as its new police chief.

Jan. 28, 2016: Ramsay is scheduled to take over as police chief.