Vol. 1, Issue 3                                                                                       June 2016
Public Safety Wins
Recently, Sedgwick County commissioners held a rare and historic joint meeting with the Wichita City Council.  I am proud to say that both governing bodies unanimously agreed to support the best models for public safety training. 

Although Sedgwick County and Wichita Law Enforcement agencies have trained together for more than three decades, their training facility has remained woefully inadequate. The old joint law enforcement training center is simply an old 1950’s elementary school that has never been updated. At least it provides some opportunity for the police and sheriff deputies to train together. Regardless, it is way too small, it is in horrible disrepair, and is unhealthful and unsafe in many ways.  Clearly, providing an adequate facility for law enforcement training is a problem that commissioners and council members have needed to prioritize.  

Thankfully, we worked with our partner to develop an agreement to deliver a real solution. After 17 years of talk and no commitment to a solution, we finally solved this need.  In the end, the city and the county agreed to equally invest in a brand new, state-of the-art facility on the Wichita State University’s Innovation Campus.  This is great news but this was not the only public safety training we needed to solve. 

Commissioners have recognized the fact that the County Firefighters have never had an adequate place to train. SCFD has had to go out of the county to do practice burns and mostly train in parking lots and on playground equipment.  Thankfully, the City of Wichita graciously offered a second public safety training agreement. This agreement was for SCFD to have perpetual opportunities to train in the City’s Regional Fire Training Center. Training alongside the Wichita Fire Department in their RFTC will enhance the safety and skill set of the firefighters as well as provide the best possible public safety for the community.

I am thankful that the City and the County are working together to develop some common-sense solutions. These two momentous and unanimous votes are great for our community. We want the community to benefit from a robust public safety system that is as great as possible.  Jointly training in 21st century facilities delivers the best combination of services to protect the firefighters and law enforcement professionals but also provide the highest level of safety services to the citizens of our community.  Everybody can celebrate a win-win! 
Commissioners Approve Joint Training Options
Governing Body of Fire District 1 approved an agreement with the City of Wichita allowing Fire District 1 formal training opportunities at the Wichita Regional Fire Training Center. This agreement means that SCFD firefighters no longer need to train in our area parks or empty parking lots. By jointly training, Wichita and Sedgwick County firefighters will be better prepared to work together. 

Sedgwick County Commissioners also approved a letter of intent with the City of Wichita to proceed with a joint law enforcement training center on Wichita State University’s Innovation Campus. This project will replace the aging joint law enforcement training center that is currently used by the Wichita Police Department and Sedgwick County Sheriff. 

Sedgwick County joined their partners, WSU and City of Wichita, to share the upcoming project with the public at a briefing on May 24. 

Watch the en banc meeting here.  
Wichita Regional Fire Training Center
Architect rendering of the proposed Law Enforcement Training Center at WSU 
Elephant Exhibit Formally Opens to Public
I was honored to provide some remarks when the Reed Family Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley officially opened to the public on Friday, May 27.   Commissioners were on hand to celebrate this new elephant habitat.   Sedgwick County sponsored the elephant boma which will allow for the utmost care for the animals.   This habitat is now home to seven elephants, six new arrivals from Swaziland and Stephanie, a longtime resident of the Sedgwick County Zoo. 
New Tag Office Replaces Murdock Location
Sedgwick County Treasurer Linda Kizzire hosted County Commissioners and several state officials including Secretary Robin Jennison (Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism) and Secretary Nick Jordan (Kansas Department of Revenue)  yesterday at a ribbon cutting event for the new tag office at 2525 W. Douglas.   This tag office will replace the one located at 200 W. Murdock St. which has been in need of replacement for some time.   The new office will open for business on Monday, June 6th at noon.   The office’s regular hours will be Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. starting June 7, 2016. 

Congratulations to Excellence in Public Service Honorees
The Excellence in Public Service Award recognizes one employee from Sedgwick County, City of Wichita, and Wichita Public Schools who exhibits the highest standard of service.   These individuals share a strong work ethic, exceptional performance and a commitment to community.   

This year, Sedgwick County’s honoree was Sabrena Gresham, a Detention Deputy at Sedgwick County Jail. Gresham was nominated for her contributions in the organization, both as a leader among coworkers and for her dedication to the job.  Her crisis intervention skills and care for inmates have made her a leader in the field.  She was selected for her exceptional work and dedication to service.   

David McGuire from the City of Wichita and Samanta Souriya from USD 259 were also selected as honorees from their respective organizations.   The Excellence in Public Service Award is sponsored by the DeVore Foundation and KSN.    These three individuals were celebrated at a reception on May 17 at the Cowtown Visitors Center. I was pleased to offer my congratulations to Deputy Gresham at this event. 
Sedgwick County Fire Welcomes New Graduates
Sedgwick County Fire District No. 1 welcomed four new graduates to the organization on Friday, May 20.   I was honored to be a part of this ceremony and welcome these men to our great organization. 

Commissioners Pay Respect at Law Enforcement Memorial
A memorial ceremony honoring local law enforcement officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice while on duty was held on Friday, May 20.  This event marked the end of Police Week in Sedgwick County.  I was proud to read a proclamation declaring Police Week at this ceremony.   Commissioners joined Sheriff Jeff Easter and members of local law enforcement to celebrate and honor our fallen officers.  
County Budget Update
In May, commissioners held budget hearings for the 2017 budget.   Department leaders and elected officials shared their budget figures and plan for the upcoming year during these hearings.   Commissioners have also held several informational workshops on topics of interest for the budget.   These workshops will continue into June as well.   

The Manager will present a recommended budget to commissioners at the July 13 Board of County Commissioners meeting.   Sedgwick County residents will have opportunities to participate in public hearings on July 27 and August 4.  An online public hearing forum will be available after July 13.

The county’s budget is scheduled to be presented for adoption August 10.
Riverfest Starts Today!
Wichita’s Riverfest activities will run from June 3 – 11. Be sure to buy your button and take in the fun festivities over the next few days!  Keep an eye out for Sedgwick County officials in the Safelite Autoglass Sundown Parade tonight!  

Join us for a Commission meeting in District 4!

Please join us on Monday, June 13 for a special Board of County Commission meeting at the City Hall in Park City (6110 N. Hydraulic). There will be a meet and greet at 6:00 p.m. and the meeting will follow at 6:30 p.m.  Come and meet your commissioners and engage in an evening meeting for your convenience.  

Household Hazardous Waste Events -- June 11, 18 & 25
A Household Hazardous Waste remote pickup event will be on Saturday, June 11 at Textron Aviation/Beechcraft Division.  It will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at HBC Parking Lot E located at 10059 E. Central.

There will be a Household Hazardous Waste remote pickup event on Saturday, June 18 in Haysville.   The event will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 200 W. Grand.

Saturday, June 25, there will be a Household Hazardous Waste remote pickup event in Oaklawn.  It will be held from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at Clothing 'n Stuff located at 4858 S. Clifton.
525 N. Main, Ste 320, Wichita, KS 67203

Contact Interim Public Information Officer:
Kate Flavin, 316-660-9370
525 N. Main, Ste 343, Wichita, KS 67203

Contact Corporate Communications Manager:
Jill Tinsley, 316-660-9370
525 N. Main, Ste 343, Wichita, KS 67203