The Wichita Police Department is undergoing implicit bias training this month. It's just one of several efforts designed to improve community relations.
During the last year, the department has offered training to officers on racial awareness and fair and impartial policing.
This time, Police Chief Gordon Ramsay says the entire department of 850 people, officers and support staff, will go through the bias training.
"That is a big commitment—not only financial but with time," Ramsey says. "So I’m proud of that fact and again, that was a commitment we made to the community."
Ramsay says the department has assigned officers to different communities in the city to serve as liaisons and provide outreach support.
They keep in touch with Hispanic, deaf/hard of hearing, autistic, homeless and mental health, refugee and Middle Eastern communities.
WPD also partners with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to address cases involving people with mental illness.
Earlier this year, the Wichita Police Department entered into an agreement with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office to perform each other’s internal investigations.
"No other city this large has an agreement like that," Ramsey says. "It takes a lot of the pressure off the police department and cleans the process up."
Ramsay talked about his efforts to improve community relations during a social media news conference earlier this week.
Ramsay became police chief in January 2016.
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