Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay, not to be confused with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, is a finalist for the Wichita Police Chief position, along with Irving, Texas Assistant Police Chief Jeffery Spivey.
Ramsay, who has been the Chief in Duluth, Minnesota since 2006, has his department positioned ahead of police forces in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and ahead of Wichita, in the effort to ensure that police officers are properly equipped to deal with calls involving mental illness.
The Duluth Police Department actually employs mental health professionals who are available to accompany officers on calls where their services may be required, a system they refer to as the co-responder model.
The Wichita Police Department has been criticized for several police shootings involving the mentally ill, and has, at this point, still not presented the public with a detailed plan on how they might solve this problem. Since 2010, the Wichita Police Department has shot 29 people, 10 of whom suffered from mental illness. Eight of those ten people died from their wounds.
Officials with the Duluth Police Department have stated that crisis intervention training has been helpful, but that the co-responder model they have used since last summer is much more effective.
The Wichita Police Department has stated that all officers will eventually be given increased crisis intervention training, but have not mentioned the co-responder model in community talks.
Both candidates for Chief are expected to speak at a forum this December 14, at 6:00 pm, at Century II, and the public is invited to ask questions.
Chief Ramsay also has a Facebook page where you can learn more about him and the Duluth Police Department.