TOPEKA (KSNT) – A Topeka Police Officer is on leave after shooting and killing one person on Thursday morning.
This is the fourth police shooting in Topeka this year. 27 News spoke with city leaders about concerns with overall violence. They say the officers defended themselves while keeping the community safe.
Since June, TPD has shot four people, killing three. The Chief of Police and City Manager want people to know that all of these shootings are not connected in any way.
“I think this is both a community tragedy and it’s a demonstration of the bravery and the uncertain world that we’re in,” Topeka Police Chief Bryan Wheeles said. “I don’t think it does any justification whatsoever to lump all of these together. I think each one of these community tragedies, for all the involved parties, deserves the weight of individuality.”
“You know I would say that every one of those are separate incidences,” City Manager Stephen Wade said. “They’re not related and there’s just no correlation between them.”
City leaders say the intensive training Topeka Police Officers undergo daily prepares them for situations like this.
“There was a gun involved today,” Wade said. “His training kicked in, he did the right thing, and quite honestly, if that officer doesn’t exercise his training, we may have an incident where an officer that is seriously injured or even killed.”
Topeka Police officers receive training before and throughout their service. Wade says TPD has been nationally accredited for more than 30 years.
“The training academy itself, we’ve pursued and received national accreditation for,” Wade said. “So, the process is not easy to get, those awards, very rigorous, and we take our training extremely seriously.”
After every police shooting, Wheeles says there is an investigation immediately after by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and the District Attorney.
One officer has been placed on administrative leave while those agencies complete their investigation. TPD currently has two officers on leave.