City Manager Robert Layton on Friday announced two finalists to fill the Wichita Police Department (WPD) Chief of Police position, which has been open since September 2014. The two finalists, who have extensive law enforcement experience and accomplishments, are:
•Gordon Ramsay, Chief of Police in Duluth, Minnesota since 2006. Ramsay has been a police officer for 22 years, winning multiple awards. He heads a department with a $25 million budget and more than 200 employees. Ramsay has extensive experience in community policing and relationship building. He has worked with diverse groups including NAACP, American Indian Commission, Native Alliance, and African-American Men’s Group to create Duluth’s first police civilian review board. Under Ramsay’s leadership the department has received high marks from residents in recent surveys, as well as recognition from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in 2012 and 2013 for community policing efforts. He is past President of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association and immediate past General Chair of the Mid-Size Agency Section of IACP. He has a master’s degree in management from the College of St. Scholastica (2004) and a bachelor’s degree in criminology and sociology from the University of Minnesota-Duluth (1994). He graduated from the FBI National Academy (2005). Duluth, population 90,000, is the urban hub city of a metropolitan area of 280,000.
•Jeffery Spivey, Assistant Chief of Police, Irving, Texas since 2011.In his 28-year career in law enforcement, Spivey has won multiple awards while serving in diverse assignments of increasing responsibility. After starting as a patrol officer, he served in investigations and narcotics. He served as division command of patrol and technical services and as Assistant Chief in charge of field operations and administrative services bureaus. Among his recent duties, Spivey led technology acquisitions including body-worn cameras, and software for predictive policing, facial recognition, and e-citation. He developed and currently teaches a program designed to reshape the culture of law enforcement. Spivey has focused on building relationships and trust in the community, serving as chairman of the Citizen’s Training Advisory Board and holding quarterly meetings with the City’s Cultural Advisory Committee. He played a key role in developing a nationally-recognized law and public service curriculum for the local school district, which helped create a natural pipeline of minority applicants from the community to the police department. Spivey has a master’s degree in criminal justice leadership and management from Sam Houston State University (2011) and a bachelor’s degree of applied arts and science from Midwestern State University (2007). He graduated from the FBI National Academy (2013). Irving, population 228,653, is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
“We have used a strong collaborative approach to get to this point,” said Layton. “I remain focused on finding the right person for this very important job, a leader who will help local law enforcement evolve and respond to the growing needs of our community.”
Layton said he expects to hire a chief before the end of 2015, following final panel interviews and an upcoming public forum. The public forum to meet the finalists is scheduled for Dec. 14 from 6 – 8:30 p.m. at Century II Convention Hall. Attendees can ask the candidates questions. Layton will serve as moderator, asking questions submitted by the public in advance. There will also be time for questions from the floor. Questions can be submitted in advance at www.activate-wichita.com and www.wichita.gov.
The search process produced 62 applicants and seven semifinalists. The search is part of an extensive community engagement process that grew out of an organizational assessment conducted by Wichita State University’s Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs. The assessment has informed everything from the job description to the vetting process used to fill the City’s top law enforcement position.
The Police Chief manages a nearly $82 million budget and supervises 836 employees. The WPD is the largest police department in Kansas and serves a population base of more than 382,368 residents.