City of Topeka narrows down final four candidates for Police Chief

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 8:41 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2021 at 9:05 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The City of Topeka tells 13 NEWS they are narrowing down the final four candidates for Police Chief this week.

13 NEWS inquired about the progress of the search for a new police chief last week.

A spokesperson for the city said Tuesday that interviews are taking place this week with both internal and external candidates, including someone from out-of-state.

From 13 NEWS at 10.

Those candidates are:

Russell Klumpp:

Major Russell Klumpp is a life-long Topekan who has served with the Topeka Police Department for nearly 27 years. He has been a commander for the last 13 years, and currently serves as a Bureau Chief. Major Klumpp has command experience in every Bureau of the Topeka Police Department. He is also a graduate of the Northwestern University School for Staff and Command, and a Certified Public Manager. He holds a Master’s degree in the Psychology of Terrorism and National Security and a Doctorate degree in Social Psychology. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police as well as several other professional organizations. Major Klumpp enjoys being involved with the community and spending quality time with his wife and two children.

Rance Quinn:

Rance Quinn spent nearly 32 years serving the citizens of Wyandotte County as a Law Enforcement Officer with the Kansas City, Kansas PD (KCKPD), Bonner Springs PD and the Edwardsville Kansas PD. He held the ranks of Patrol Officer, Detective, Captain, Major and retired from the KCKPD as the Acting Deputy Chief of the Services Bureau. Mr. Quinn’s experience included Information and Technology, City Communications City Hall, 215 SE 7th Street Topeka, KS 66603 Tel: 785-368-0991 Criminal Investigations, Major Case, Internal Affairs, Active Shooter Response and Patrol Operations. He has further experience as a Training Director, Communications Unit Commander, Crisis Intervention Team Coordinator, and Police Training Officer Coordinator where he oversaw the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department’s transition from the decades old Field Training Model to a Problem Oriented Policing Model. The new model takes Community Oriented Policing to the next step, training the Officers on how to solve community problems beginning on day 1 of the Academy. It is instilled in them upon graduation. Mr. Quinn is a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP, PERF) which provides senior police executives with intensive training in the latest management concepts and practices used in business and government. Mr. Quinn possesses a bachelor’s degree in Management and Human Relations from MidAmerica Nazarene University; he is a Command School graduate from KU’s Law Enforcement Leadership Academy; a Certified Public Manager (CPM) through the University of Kansas and many others. These are just a small segment of who he is today.

Sonia J. Russell:

Sonia J. Russell was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She attended Southfield-Lathrup high school, Michigan State University (Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice), Central Michigan University (Masters’ of Science in Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Leadership), and Wayne State University (Graduate Certificate in Business Administration). She has also attended Michigan’s Chiefs of Police School, Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP), and International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Women’s Leadership Institute. She has been employed with the Detroit Police Department for 20 years, where she is currently the Commanding Officer, (Captain) of Management Services, which includes: Fleet Management, Towing Operations, Forfeiture, Secondary Employment, Assets and Licensing, Firearms Inventory, Auctions, Abandoned Vehicle Task Force, and Resource Management. Throughout her career, she has been assigned to the following entities: As a Police Officer, she served the Twelfth Precinct Patrol, Ninth Precinct Patrol and Vice Enforcement. As a Sergeant, she was assigned to Sixth Precinct Patrol, Twelfth Precinct Patrol, Executive Protection, Internal Affairs, Secondary Employment, Resource Management, and Records Management. As a Lieutenant, she was assigned to Downtown Services, Tactical Operations, Gaming Operations, Fleet Management and the Crime Intelligence Unit. As a Commanding Officer, (Captain), she was assigned to Training Academy and the Ninth Precinct. As a Commanding Officer, (Commander), she has worked at the Ninth Precinct, Third Precinct, Downtown Services, Special Events, Gaming Division and Special Services Division. Her hobbies include exercising, cooking, and arts & crafts. She is a member of the following organizations: National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police (MACP), International Association of Women Police (IAWP), Special Olympics of Michigan, and Girls Trek. She is dedicated and committed to serving as a member of Noble’s Executive Board in Metro-Detroit as the Corresponding Secretary and is honored to be a member of this group. Captain Russell enjoys serving the Community and has developed a host of programs. She looks forward to engaging the citizens in the city of Topeka and strives for excellence.

Bryan Wheeles:

Bryan Wheeles began his career with the Topeka Police Department in June of 1994. He has worked in several capacities at the Police Department to include: a patrol officer, a narcotics investigator, a homicide detective, Sergeant in the Criminal intelligence Unit, Lieutenant over Homicide/Special Victims Unit, Captain-Executive Officer & the Deputy Chief of Police. Since January of 2021, he has served as the Interim Chief of Police for the Topeka Police Department. Mr. Wheeles is a past member of the Topeka Police Department Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) and NE Kansas Major Case Squad. He is a current member of the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police (KACP) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Mr. Wheeles is a graduate of Central Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice Administration. He holds numerous law enforcement certifications in a variety of areas and is a graduate of the Kansas Public Administrators Seminar (KPAS). Mr. Wheeles has been a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Topeka Board of Directors (2015-2021) & also served as a Past Vice President.

The Topeka City Council is set to meet Tuesday night where they will discuss implementing a transition plan for the new chief to take over once chosen. On Wednesday, the candidates will go through a series of interviews and panels with members of the community, stakeholders and individuals involved directly and indirectly with the operations of the Topeka Police Department.

“The City Manager’s goal, as outlined during Special Committee meetings, has been to make a decision on a permanent Chief within one year of the interim Chief’s appointment,” said city spokesperson, Gretchen Spiker. “We are nearing that timeline, which necessitates conducting the interview process now. The intent is to have the permanent Chief in place by January 2022.”

Bryan Wheeles took over as Interim Chief of the Topeka Police Department in January 2021 after former Chief Bill Cochran retired.

In June, Topeka City Manager Brent Trout told 13 NEWS he hoped to have a Police Chief selected by the end of this year.

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