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Archive for Friday, July 13, 2007

Officers tackling residents’ issues, worries on neighborhood level

July 13, 2007

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Three questions with ... Tina Shambaugh, Neighborhood Resource Officer for the Lawrence Police Department

Tina Shambaugh is a Neighborhood Resource Officer for the Lawrence Police Department. She discusses Lawrence's neighborhoods and citizen complaints regarding nuisance houses, vandalism and other issues

Neighborhood resource officers Trent McKinley and Tina Shambaugh, back, talk with Nancy Schwarting about her concerns regarding drug activity in East Lawrence following a meeting with the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association Monday night at Van Go Mobile Arts, 715 N.J.

Neighborhood resource officers Trent McKinley and Tina Shambaugh, back, talk with Nancy Schwarting about her concerns regarding drug activity in East Lawrence following a meeting with the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association Monday night at Van Go Mobile Arts, 715 N.J.

Neighborhood Resource Officers

Seven months since it was created, officers in the Neighborhood Resource program say they are connecting with community members.

Tina Shambaugh and Trent McKinley, former Lawrence patrol officers, have visited several groups in the city, including eight neighborhood associations. They also try to be a presence at each City Commission meeting.

"If somebody has a problem, they usually bring it to the City Commission," McKinley said. "That way, we're there to talk to."

The Neighborhood Resource Officer program was established in January to address such issues as noise and nuisance house complaints, graffiti, personal and residential safety, business security and crime prevention.

The officers also distribute bulletins and tips relating to specific crimes that may have occurred.

The program, brainchild of City Manager David Corliss, is financed through the city's general fund budget.

"I just know that we have limited law enforcement resources. We're not able to fund as many positions as we'd like," Corliss said. "But it made sense to designate some officers where they would be available to attend meetings and look at certain statistical trends and focus attention on that."

The officers report a decrease in noise complaints compared with this time last year. In the first six months of 2006, 1,284 noise calls were reported. For the same time frame this year, 1,152 noise calls were received.

Officers credit part of that to a new procedure in how the calls are handled.

Noise complaints are audited each week by Shambaugh and McKinley, who work with residents and landlords to ensure second offenses don't occur.

"The big thing is property owners had no idea or they were getting a different story from their tenants," McKinley said.

While no other tangible results are clear at this point, officers say the relationships built in handling noise and nuisance house complaints can lead to solving other issues, such as drug use, blight, untagged vehicles or more serious crimes.

"Where we've made the biggest difference is in the neighborhoods where people are constantly checking in with us," McKinley told members of the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association this week. "We will go where folks need us."

"We're solving the problem far more broadly than we used to," said Sgt. Dan Ward, who oversees the NRO program.

East Lawrence Neighborhood Association president Phil Collison hopes that the NROs will help put a stop to drug use around the city.

"Addressing issues of known drug houses would be a very positive thing that (the NROs) could do to move forward," he said. "I think, in the long run, this is a really positive step that the city's taking to open lines of communication."

Officers can be reached at 830-7410 or by e-mail at nro@lkpd.org.

Comments

doc1 7 years, 5 months ago

Who cares if Sevier was and Indian. He was shot because he charged officers with a knife. A white guy would have been shot for the same reason. Jeez why is this crap still brought up??

LadyWolf 7 years, 5 months ago

This issue still surfaces because what happened to the Sevier family was wrong then and time has not changed that fact. It has to do with memory and pain that is just below the surface. Smitty, I don't mean to speak for you. These are just my thoughts.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 5 months ago

There is drug activity within the CIA. They use LSD and Heroin as tools of torture. They gotta buy it too.

Sometimes it work to speak to new neighbors as they move in. Let them know what will and will not be tolerated regarding noise and hours. This might help.

You might also advise them that the neighborhood does not need to know what type of drugs are used. Keep it very private.

=======================

This is a rare exception. We had some well known meth lab dudes close by and it took 18 months to resolve the matter. "well known" = known by DEA,KBI,County Sheriff. These dudes were up all night,police were called 3-5 times a day and they harassed neighbors daily.

They would lead police around on high speed chases from time to time and never got caught during the chase but the cops knew where they lived. When police arrive they would flip them off and speak colorful language AT them. They owned a fast mustang and a fast lincoln continental coup.

Bottom line...criminals have rights too. They had a good lawyer said to be an uncle. I would say every law enforcement officer in the city knew of these characters. This was a most amazing and sometimes horrifying experience for some neighbors. As I said a rare case indeed.

nell 7 years, 5 months ago

"Who cares if Sevier was and Indian. He was shot because he charged officers with a knife. A white guy would have been shot for the same reason. Jeez why is this crap still brought up??"

My recollection is that the officer responding to the call (a suicide call, I believe) unloaded a semi-automatic weapon into Sevier (was it nine rounds?), before the threat was significant enough to warrant such a reaction and/or perhaps nervously oversqueezing the trigger. The shooting was an overreaction out of fear and ethnic/cultural differences breed fear. Ignoring this as a factor in such a horrible crime is vile, as were the superficial 'fixes' of the LPD.

Charles L Bloss Jr 7 years, 5 months ago

I do not remember much about the Sevier case, except he was holding a knife and threatening to commit suicide. I can tell you that a person with a knife about 21 feet away from you can kill you before you can react fast enough to shoot him. If I thought a person was trying to kill me, I would shoot my gun into his chest (center mass) to stop his aggressive action. Why people expect officers in this type of situation to count their shots and stop after one, two, three (whatever the liberals say is politically correct) is beyond me. When you are attacked your adrenaline is maxing out, you are reacting to the threat the way you were trained to do. It is entirely possible Sevier was committing suicide by cop. One thing, never take a person with a knife 20 feet away from you lightly. They can kill you before you can react and shoot. Thank you, Lynn

Bradley Menze 7 years, 5 months ago

I agree with plumber. Let the interested people investigate and research and push for whatever charges they feel are justified or possible, otherwise leave family or families alone. Undoubtedly many, many people have been touched by this incident.

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