Throughout the day, we have been tracking a story on the Wichita Police Department cracking down on head shops in Wichita. At 11:50 this morning, we emailed Chief of Police Gordon Ramsay, asking if the department was behind this effort.
At 2:56 this afternoon, Chief Ramsay replied, stating that he was unaware of any such efforts.
At 3:10 this afternoon, the Wichita Eagle published a story, quoting Capt. Kevin Mears of the Wichita Police Department, stating that yes, the department is engaged in a crackdown on Wichita head shops.
At 3:32, I send Chief Ramsay this screenshot from a private message sent from WPD’s Facebook page:
At 4:50 this afternoon, Chief Ramsay and I are still conversing about this situation, and Chief Ramsay still seems to be unaware of what is happening. At this time, I myself am also still unaware of the Wichita Eagle story.
This timeline raises several questions, the first of which is, if Chief Ramsay did not call for this sudden enforcement, then who did initiate this crackdown?
Chief Ramsay has only been with the Wichita Police Department since January, so, how much control he really has over his department is questionable.
Why is this being done? What purpose is served by putting people out of work and taking sales revenue away from legitimate Wichita business owners?
Will all of the businesses who carry these products be forced to comply, or will certain businesses with the right connections be permitted to continue operating, as is alleged to have occurred in the past?
This video shows a Wichita Police Officer delivering the notification to Up in Smoke, a head shop located on East Douglas: