Members of Wichita’s Police Department were looking for a way to show their support for Black History Month and what they came up with was historic. African-American employees of the police department, both commissioned and non-commissioned, gathered for a historic and memorable photo on the steps of the Kansas African American Museum.
It was the first time anyone can remember a similar photo being taken and reflects the department’s pride in its diversity. The call went out, and as many employees as could showed up for the photo. In all, 46 or the Department’s 48 African-American employees were captured in the photo, along with four of their commanding officers, which included Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay.
These are historic times for WPD, with African-American commissioned officers making up 18% of the department’s commissioned force. While WPD has had more African Americans at the top, including a Black Police chief and two Deputy Chiefs at one time, most of the officers asked said they felt valued and supported by the current command team.
WPD currently has two African-American Captains, both promoted under the current chief, two Lieutenants, three sergeants, four detectives and 26 officers.
Noticeably low were the number of African-American females on the commissioned team. Capt. Wanda Givens, one of just two African-American females in the Department, said that’s something she hopes to see changed soon.
The Department is currently recruiting officers. For more information, go to www.wpdjobs.com