The Wichita Police Department (WPD) appreciated the thoughtful insight shared by the task force. Together we will continue to work toward a holistic solution alongside our partners to ensure that we are delivering the best quality service and public safety to our community as possible. WPD has sought grants and funding every year since 2016 to add embedded social workers to WPD to help with mental health-related calls. We welcome the opportunity to work with community partners to expand this and assist with others applying for similar grants.
We are happy to look at these policies and work toward a holistic look at helping youth in our community, of which the Wichita Police Department is a crucial component. Often, there are no other agencies to respond other than the Police during times of distress. Police have frequently become the first, final, and only line of support during times of crisis. With few mental health resources, often policing becomes a catch-all for individuals who need much different and more robust mental health help than our officers can provide. Until we have better systems of response for mental health, we at WPD will continue our work of expanding and evolving our training and internal systems to best address the mental health needs of our community.