Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams announced today that he is retiring after nearly 40 years with the Wichita Police Department, effective Sept. 5.
“I want to thank the residents of this community for allowing me to serve them as a law enforcement officer for nearly four decades,” Williams said. “I’m very grateful for the community support of the department and our many fine officers. It’s been a privilege to work with so many great public servants in the department, City government, partnering agencies, other stakeholder groups as well as elected officials.”
Williams began his career with the WPD in 1975 as a police officer. He moved up through the ranks, earning promotions to Lieutenant, Captain and Deputy Chief, becoming chief in April 14, 2000.
“Norman Williams has experienced a long and distinguished career and his accomplishments as Police Chief are significant,” City Manager Robert Layton said. “I thank him for his many years of dedicated service to this community.”
Mayor Brewer also thanked Williams for his service.
“Norman has done a great job and made many sacrifices serving this community for nearly four decades,” Mayor Brewer said. “He was always out in the community working with residents and children. I’ve known for months he was considering retiring. I wish him the best of luck and I know he will continue serving the community.”
Perhaps most notably, under the leadership of Chief Williams, WPD solved the BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) homicides. The BTK investigation spanned over 30 years, but was solved in 11 months after BTK (Dennis Rader) resurfaced in March of 2004. Also, in September 2006, the Wichita Police Department began a federal investigation into the criminal operations of the Neighborhood Crips gang. After a yearlong investigation, approximately 71 individuals were charged federally with drive-by shootings, drug trafficking crimes, robbery and murder. Twenty-eight (28) of the defendants were charged with Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). This is the first time in the history of the State of Kansas that the RICO Act has been used. In 2011, the court proceedings involving the RICO defendants was completed and 25/28 (89%) defendants were found guilty and sentenced to federal prisons.
During Williams’ tenure as Chief, the WPD gained national recognition for its outstanding investigative work and community-policing philosophy, which relies upon positive interaction among police, other public servants, and community members to serve our community needs regarding safety, crime prevention, and crime-related quality of life issues.
Under Williams, the WPD was selected as a winner of the 2003 Webber Seavey Excellence in Law Enforcement Award for its Planeview Activity Camp for Kids Project (PACK). The WPD is the only law enforcement agency in the world to garner Webber Seavey Award recognition three times; twice a winner of the Webber Seavey (1996 and 2003) and once as top 10 finalists (2000). Also in 2003, the Department was awarded the Boy Scouts of America Whitney Young, Jr. Community Service Award for its Camp Awareness Program.
Williams won multiple department awards including the Gold Wreath of Honor, six Bronze Wreath of Merits and various other awards. He was wounded twice in the line of duty in 1977 and 1980.
The police chief is responsible for managing a nearly $80 million budget and supervising about 840 employees. The WPD is the largest police department in the state of Kansas and serves a population base of over 382,368 citizens and visitors.
Layton said information regarding an interim or successor will be released at a later date.