Wichita Establishes New Citizen Review Board

Ted Woodward
January 17, 2018 - 1:44 pm



The City of Wichita has established a new Citizen Review Board; City Manager Robert Layton says the Board will review citizen complaints and police department policy and practices.

Layton said, "Recent incidents make today's announcement timely. I want to assure the public that we've heard you and your concerns, we continue to hear you, and we're committed to taking appropriate steps and actions to improve the policies, procedures, training, and tactics of our police department."

Police chief Gordon Ramsay said, "The number of review boards are growing; I think we're around a hundred nationally, or so. My philosophy is that we police with the consent of the people, so I welcome the oversight, citizen involvement in what we're doing, looking at our policies and our practices and asking those tough questions; I'm really excitied for this board to get up and running."

The seven members on the Board are all appointed by the City Manager, representing a cross-section of genders, races, and occupations throughout the community. All Board meetings will be open to the public.

The Board will provide input to the City Council and the Police Department regarding any racial and biased-based policing issues; it will also review police department practices and policy, as well as citizen complaints.

The seven appointees to the Citizen Review Board are:

  • Timothy L. Sims, Senior Pastor at Planeview Church of God in Christ
  • Dennis Bender, Executive Director of the Union Rescue Mission
  • Jay Fowler, trial lawyer and Partner with Foulston Siefkin
  • Anabel Larumbe, community activist, and receptionist at Greg Beuke Law Office
  • Robert Thompson, Cargill Logistics Manager
  • Shaun Rojas, Kansas Leadership Center Director of Civic Engagement
  • Tonja Sowder, Vice President of Human Resources at Syndeo Outsourcing

In addition, former United States Attorney for the District of Kansas, Barry Grissom, will act as an advisor to the Citizen Review Board.

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