Archive for Sunday, June 25, 2006

Police oversight

June 25, 2006


To the editor:

I was heartened to see the article this week in the Lawrence Journal-World regarding a renewed interest in the development of a police review board for the city of Lawrence.

Our community has advisory boards for everything from recycling to parks to public transportation. Yet our police department, alone, currently operates in isolation, seemingly unaccountable.

The Lawrence Police Department (LPD) budget represents a significant portion of our city's annual spending. Yet, the department is notorious for refusing to provide the public with information about its activities, priorities and performance. Lawrence citizens with concerns about the police have little recourse.

Particularly disturbing is the recent news that the FBI has begun an inquiry into allegations that Lawrence police officers may have presented themselves as FBI agents in the course of an investigation. If true, this breach of trust is truly beyond the pale. What will it take to get the commission to increase the accountability of this department?

I believe it is high time the city of Lawrence implemented an independent, community-based police review board which provides some measure of accountability. Our police department should not operate in a vacuum.

Sadly, it appears that LPD has already begun to publicly resist this latest proposal. In my mind, their ongoing resistance to oversight only further underscores the urgent need for the creation of a police review board.

I encourage the City Commission to give the development of a police review board its full attention.

Laura D. Routh,



reginafliangie 11 years, 8 months ago

Lets see, you want reports of the activities and such? Well, what if you were involved in a crime, you were a victim, do you really want issues involved in the case aired for everyone to see? There are reasons certain cases are not public. To protect the victim. Maybe there could be some sort of annual report that the public could see on a monthly, or annual basis. But having a review board of the LKPD from the same people who bash the police department seems like something that would not work. Would you want your line of work aired for all to see and comment on? I know I wouldn't. Not that I have anything to hide. But certain peoples goal in life is to find out the business of others and give their opinions and it's usually not a nice one.

reginafliangie 11 years, 8 months ago

I just know somebody who works there. I don't mean to come to the rescue. I just think some people don't understand the way the system works. So thats where alot of peoples frustration comes from. I think if they had a better understanding of the way it works they would know who to approprately "bash". lol

drewdun 11 years, 8 months ago

"I just think some people don't understand the way the system works"

Uhhh, yeah. That's why the lte was published in the first place.

anonimiss 11 years, 8 months ago

I have a feeling that a board appointed by the commission would be worse for Lawrence. Remeber Bood saying that pot doesn't hurt anybody? Rundle calling it a victimless crime? Boog and Rundle both saying $200 was too steep a fine? The 3-2 vote so that pot smokers can keep their government checks coming? The board will have a problem with pretty much any sort of sting, drug enforcement, checkpoint, or any other activity that does not involve walking down the street, actually seeing the crime, and then making the arrest. The board would undoubtedly answer to the liberal majority on the commission, just like the growth, traffic, homeless, and other boards.

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