Wichita police, community activists to host 'First Steps Barbecue' on Sunday

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) The Wichita Police Department and local community activists will host a community barbecue on Sunday at McAdams Park.

The "First Steps Barbecue" follows a #blacklivesmatter protest that was held at the park on Tuesday and discussions between Chief Gordon Ramsay, the Wichita Urban Professionals and other local activists on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Chief Ramsay says the current climate of the country and the city calls for a different way of doing things. He cited the example on Tuesday night when he allowed #blacklivesmatter protesters to march freely on 13th Street which resulted in no violence or arrests.

Ramsay said while the event is not mandatory for officers, the goal is to allow police and citizens to interact and have positive contact.

Ramsay said no overtime will be accrued and no additional personnel will be needed for the event.

He said he has not presented the plan to the city council, but did go over details with the mayor who approved of the event.

The event will be funded by donations, which can be made through the mayor's office.

Ramsay said he hopes this kind of event will assist in officers focusing on good discretion, which includes not issuing tickets for minor infractions that could prevent a person from being successful later in life.

"I'd like them to use the spirit of the law in making decisions, rather than the letter of the law," said Ramsay.

The "First Steps Barbecue" will take place on Sunday at McAdams Park. It begins at 6 p.m.