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Interim Wichita Police Chief Lemuel Moore to retire

Wichita Police Chief Lemuel Moore
Kylie Cameron
/
KMUW
Lemuel Moore serves as Wichita's interim police chief after the departure of former Chief Gordon Ramsay.

Earlier this year, Moore said he was leaning toward applying for the vacant police chief position, although he was still weighing his retirement options.

Interim Wichita Police Chief Lemuel Moore said he plans to retire later this year.

Moore has been with the department for 31 year and has served as interim chief since March.

Moore made the announcement after the Wichita City Council voted to approve a third-party investigation into the Wichita Police Department and its relationship with other city departments.

“So to be progressive, and to allow the opportunity for … our city to grow through this assessment by this third party, I believe is going to be … largely accepted by everyone in the community,” Moore said.

The city sought the third-party investigation after racist text messages between officers were made public soon after Moore was appointed as interim chief.

Moore took over following the departure of Chief Gordon Ramsay earlier this year. Ramsay is now running for county sheriff in his home state of Minnesota.

Earlier this year, Moore said he was leaning toward applying for the vacant police chief position, although he was still weighing his retirement options.

“I've experienced a lot, I've learned a lot,” Moore said, “but there … comes a time where a person needs to start the next chapter. And for me, I feel that this is the time for me.”

The city has not decided who will become the next interim chief, Moore said.

It’s also not known exactly when the city is expected to hire its new permanent chief; the city’s website says final candidate selection will take place in late September.

City Council members said that the third-party investigation and feedback will serve as a road map for whomever takes over the role.

“It’s going to be a pretty good document to help guide whoever becomes our next police chief, as well,” Mayor Brandon Whipple said during Tuesday’s council meeting. “Where they not only get to come into this role, but they’ll be handed a document from the top firm in the country … suggesting improvements.”

The third-party investigation and report will take an entire year to be completed and cost the city more than $200,000.

Jensen Hughes, the firm hired for the investigation, was involved in other high-profile investigations into city police departments following the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville.

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.