Wichita mayor responds to police union’s calls for resignation

Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple at his weekly briefing on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022.
Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple at his weekly briefing on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022.(KWCH)
Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 10:57 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple responded after receiving calls for his resignation if he doesn’t apologize following a verbal confrontation with a Wichita Police Department officer, recorded on the officer’s bodycam.

In the bodycam footage, timestamped a little after 3 p.m. Sept. 24 Whipple is attempting to dump trash at a Wichita neighborhood cleanup. A Witnesses at the Sept. 24 cleanup event told 12 News an officer tried to get Whipple to stop. That’s when the officer turned on his Axon body camera and approached Whipple. Wichita’s mayor, in line to dump trash from a rental property, said he misunderstood the situation and felt the officer mistreated him. Following the release of the bodycam footage, the fraternal order of police at both the state and national levels responded to defend the officer and called on Whipple to apologize.

“Mayor Whipple should offer a public apology to [WPD Officer Atlee] Vogt and the members of the Wichita Police Department and accept full responsibility for his actions. If Mayor Whipple is unable to do this, he must immediately resign as Mayor of Wichita,” a statement from the Kansas State Fraternal Order of Police said.

During Mayor Whipple’s weekly briefing Thursday, Oct. 20, he said the calls for him to resign are a political move.

“Frankly it’s the political season and I think that this comes to that political season. My focus, though is on my job,” Whipple said. “We have a new police chief that is going to come in and I want to make sure that police chief helps us in the mission to create Wichita as having the greatest police force in the entire country. My job is to support our new police chief and to provide the resources needed so we can have the best police department in the country moving forward, and I’ve done that as mayor.”

The Wichita Police Department said the officer, identified as Vogt, acted in accordance with the department’s policy and regulations during the Sept. 24 confrontation.