City of Wichita officials have scheduled a second community meeting this evening to improve relations between law enforcement and the community in the wake of recent police-involved shootings that have attracted local and national attention.
The meeting is scheduled from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. today in Convention Hall at the Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center in downtown. The agenda includes a report on recent developments, an update on an organizational assessment of the Wichita Police Department and a breakout session of smaller groups facilitated by Wichita State University.
The first meeting, called “No Ferguson Here,” was a community dialogue held at Wichita East High School. Speakers included Mayor Carl Brewer, City Manager Robert Layton, Acting Police Chief Nelson Mosley, Mark McCormick of The Kansas African American Museum and local pastors Junius Dotson, Kevass Harding and Reuben Eckels.
People who attended the first forum raised questions about justice, race relations, policing training and local incidents of officer-involved-shootings. Some called for more Wichita Police Department (WPD) officers to wear body cameras.
City officials announced earlier this week plans to outfit all patrol officers with a body worn camera by Dec. 31, 2015. The program is aimed at enhancing transparency and accountability, both by police officers and citizens. It also aims to reduce use of force incidents, complaints of officer misconduct, and liability claims.
“We are interested in furthering the dialogue with our community.” Mosley said. “We want to give and receive input on previous meetings and set the course for future dialogue.”