With many cities around the USA reeling from unpleasant confrontations between police and Black Lives Matter protesters, the residents of Wichita, Kansas in the Midwest set an example for many well-heeled urban areas to follow. In Wichita on Sunday night, police and demonstrators decided to chat with one another during a community picnic. The friendly event enhanced communications.

A crowd of nearly 1,000 showed up at the City’s McAdams Park. The lure of free food appealed to many people. Those in attendance included youngsters and senior citizens.

Both on-duty and off-duty law enforcement officers showed up for the event. Many businesses donated food, so everyone at the Park could munch on hamburgers and hot dogs as they discussed current issues of interest to the community.

Police Chief Gordon Ramsey told the gathering that treating people with respect and dignity starts at the local level. The “First Step Cookout” received generally favorable reviews.

Although a total of 400 people sent RSVPs to attend the gathering, estimates of twice as many in the crowd indicated a big turnout.

Wichita has recently set other precedents in law enforcement also. For instance, it ranks among the few urban areas which utilize police body cameras 100% of the time when police officers patrol local streets. The city expended several million dollars to embrace the new technology as a way of documenting law enforcement conduct more accurately. Some members of the public expressed appreciation for the interest on the part of officers in obtaining greater accountability.