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Wichita Police Department Needs To Add More Than 70 New Staff, Study Says

Ark Valley Fire Buff
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Wichita City Council members heard the results of a new police department staffing report Tuesday.

The study, conducted by the Matrix Consulting Group, shows the Wichita Police Department needs to add more positions to the force -- in total, 49 more officers and 24 civilians in support roles, like crime analysis and records. Among the recommended additions are eight staff in the person crime units (four for sex crimes alone), and 25 in the patrol unit.

Richard Brady, president of Matrix, says staffing has been stagnant.

“This department is basically where it was about 10 years ago," he told council members.

The study also recommended making the assignments for the Homeless Outreach Team permanent, and outsourcing the city's animal shelter and adoption services so the staff can work in the field.

The 200-page report was commissioned last year as part of the organizational assessment. The study shows WPD officers aren’t able to spend enough time on proactive activities outside of responding to calls.

Brady explained that Wichita police receive more serious, high-priority calls -- like for domestic violence -- than other communities where Matrix has worked, which has impacted officers' availability.

Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said the next step is to look at implementing the recommendations.

“You know, we didn’t get here overnight with a lot of these issues," he said. "It’s going to take some time.”


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Nadya Faulx is KMUW's Digital News Editor and Reporter, which means she splits her time between working on-air and working online, managing news on KMUW.org, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. She joined KMUW in 2015 after working for a newspaper in western North Dakota. Before that she was a diversity intern at NPR in Washington, D.C.