At the time of Chief Stone’s tenure, the City of Wichita was approximately 120 square miles in size with a population of 309,000 citizens. Wichita was the largest city in the State of Kansas and is known as the “Air Capital of the World”. Sixty-five percent of the general aviation aircraft in the United States was produced locally by several major manufacturers including Boeing, Beech, Lear Jet and Cessna Aircraft. The city was also home to McConnell Air Force Base, a Strategic Air Command military facility for a B1-B Bomber Wing.
Wichita, designated as an “All American City”, has been a perennial host to the Miss USA Pageant, annual “Wichita River Festivals”, ESPN sporting events and other major tourist attractions. Wichita is also the site of Wichita State University, former NCAA College Baseball Champions, and the annual National Baseball Congress World Series.
Wichita had a Council/Manager form of government. The City Manager appointed all department heads, including the Chief of Police, who served at the direction of the Manager.
The Wichita Police Department was the largest law enforcement agency in the State of Kansas with an authorized strength of 515 sworn officers and 203 civilian personnel. A reserve police officer section with an authorized strength of 75 officers further complemented the Department. The total number of personnel authorized was 793.
The Police Department answered over 180,000 citizen calls for service and made approximately 40,000 arrests each year. Despite Wichita’s size as the largest city in Kansas, the community and police department perennially recorded lower crime rates than many other smaller cities in the state. Index crime decreases were charted during Chief Stone’s tenure in 1992, 1993, and 1995. Major decreases in every violent crime category were also charted in 1994. These benchmarks were the result of the adoption of a community policing philosophy that led to national recognition including “All American City” identification, multiple “National Night Out” awards and the International Association Chief of Police (IACP) coveted “Weber Seavey Award” for law enforcement excellence and innovation.
Under Chief Stone, the Wichita Police Department was divided into three bureaus with each commanded by a Deputy Chief of Police. The command staff was completed by the addition of a civilian Executive Assistant. Each bureau was further divided into a total of thirteen specialized Divisions, each managed by a Division Commander. The Chief of Police appointed all command staff positions.
The yearly budget of the Wichita Police Department exceeded 34 million dollars and was administered by the Chief of Police. The chief was also responsible for all law enforcement operations within the City of Wichita, including enforcement of state and federal laws and city ordinances, investigation of all crimes, establishment of appropriate departmental policies and procedures, and development of recruit, in- service and executive training programs to enhance departmental performance.
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