Wolgast: Ferguson Has People Asking, "What About Topeka?"

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TOPEKA, Kan, (WIBW)- The situation in Ferguson found its way into Tuesday night's City Council meeting. Mayor Larry Wolgast and City Council members reflected on what's happening.

Council member Slyvia Oritz says she is praying for the Ferguson community during this time. The Mayor and fellow council members had a lot to say as well.

Mayor Larry Wolgast says the protests in Ferguson have hit close to home

"I have had numerous people comment to me in the last week about Ferguson, and asking what about Topeka," said Wolgast.

Chaos and unrest broke out between protesters and law enforcement after a Missouri Police Officer shot and killed unarmed teenager, Michael Brown.

Topeka Council members joined in on the conversation, saying if a situation like this ever happened in the capital city, it's important to be prepared.

"Of course one can never be totally prepared, but I certainly feel the leadership and our police department have very high professionalism.
so we have to work together as a community to solve the issue," said Wolgast.

"And I encourage people to become more involved in the neighborhoods," said council member, T.J. Brown.

"Meet your neighbors, get to know your neighbors, get them involved in the process, you know and let's tackle all these problems together as a community," said council member, Nathan Schmidt.

Council members say they hope the Ferguson community can find peace very soon.

"Of course we are hopeful nothing like this will never happen, in any other city, and certainly not Topeka," said Wolgast.

Incoming Topeka Police Chief James Brown attended Tuesday nights meeting, but did not take part in any discussions.

Council members also approved a labor agreement that includes a 1.5% pay increase for employees in the Development Services and Planning Division.