WPD interim chief discusses goals during critical leadership transition for Wichita

Deputy Chief Lemuel Moore will fill the role of interim police chief while the City of Wichita works to fill the position permanently.
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 7:01 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - While a search process begins to select the next permanent police chief for the City of Wichita, the Wichita Police Department on Thursday, Jan. 27, officially promoted Deputy Chief Lemuel Moore to lead the department on an interim basis. Current WPD Chief Gordon Ramsay’s last day with the department is March 1. Deputy Chief Moore will hold the position for six to nine months after Ramsay leaves, while the WPD and City of Wichita look for a permanent replacement.

Looking ahead to starting as WPD Interim Chief on March 2, Moore said his goal in leading the department will be to continue what Ramsay accomplished. Moore said he realizes the transition is happening in a pivotal moment, following the recent death of Cedric Lofton in county custody.

“Right now, you have the county and the city working together on current events that are happening, and dealing with mental health in juveniles,” Moore said. “Those are the kinds of talks I want to have and encourage. so, when we have a new chief come in, there’s already a foundation ready to go.”

The WPD hopes to find its next permanent chief by the end of the year. Moore said as of now, he won’t be in the running to lead the department beyond his interim service.

“At this time, no. I had a conversation with [Wichita City Manager Bob Layton] and my goal is to continue to be the shadow, the influence, the leader behind the chief,” Moore said. “The Wichita Police Department did a great job bringing an outsider in with Chief Gordon Ramsay, and internally, we have some great candidates that would function and do a great job. But if they bring someone in from the outside once again, I’ll support whoever they put in that position.”

Moore already had is first assignment as interim WPD chief, weeks out from his official start. That came Thursday when he spoke with the Retired Business Men’s Club about the current state of policing. Meanwhile, we know Ramsay is leaving Wichita to move back to Minnesota where he’s considering a run for St. Louis County Sheriff.

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