Archive for Sunday, May 31, 2009

City police chief aids federal disaster response

May 2009: Lawrence police chief Ron Olin, pictured in west Lawrence, is a part of the federal InterAgency Board that advises federal agencies on how to make local communities safer.

May 2009: Lawrence police chief Ron Olin, pictured in west Lawrence, is a part of the federal InterAgency Board that advises federal agencies on how to make local communities safer.

May 31, 2009


Lawrence Police Chief fights terrorism

Lawrence Police Chief Ron Olin has plenty of counter-terrorism know-how. Enlarge video

He’s on the front lines of making the nation’s first responders safer, and his service on a federal safety standards board also puts Lawrence in a good position in the event of a terrorist attack or natural disaster.

Lawrence Police Chief Ron Olin is one of only a relatively few law enforcement officials in the country appointed to the federal government’s 70-member InterAgency Board, which works to better prepare first responders for all types of disasters, including chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive incidents.

“The threat exists and there will be another event,” Olin said during a recent interview. “It’s just a matter of when.”

Appointed to the volunteer board in 1998, Olin’s decade-long service gives him intimate knowledge about the many threats and dangers being addressed by federal agencies. It also gives him input on what tools police officers and firefighters are equipped with to respond to emergencies.

During twice-yearly meetings in different parts of the country, the law enforcement, federal, firefighter and medical representatives get together to develop equipment standards and make communication among first responder agencies seamless.

“It’s a voice for trying to standardize those parts that make everything work better together in the field,” Olin said.

An example of the board’s work is a standard the board created a couple of years ago that requires manufacturers of firefighter equipment to create identical equipment connectors, so all brands of fire equipment will work together in an emergency.

“Those are the kinds of recommendations that seem intuitive, but at the same time they’re not being done,” Olin said.

The board also gave input into the National Institute of Justice’s standards for bulletproof vests worn by law enforcement officers to ensure agencies purchase the most protective vests, rather than just what’s new in the marketplace.

During IAB meetings, equipment manufacturers brief board members on existing cutting-edge technology and future technology in the works. The board then reviews the equipment and determines what’s acceptable for first responders to use. In October, the board will meet in the Kansas City area.

Olin’s involvement on the board allows Lawrence Police Department to be recognized in equipment reports distributed to fire and police agencies nationwide.

Olin said he’s gained valuable connections to the nation’s top security agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense and Department of Justice.

“I can pick up the phone and have an answer to a question that I would not have access to, had I not participated,” Olin said.

Representatives of the federal agencies provide briefings to the board about what they’re working on. In return, Olin and other board members are able to give them feedback about what they believe the federal agencies’ priorities should be.

Olin said it’s important for federal leaders to gain insight from local-level leaders, as they’re the ones who would make the most immediate decisions following a disaster or terrorism event until federal agencies can respond.

“The more that we can get the local people ready, then the safer we all are,” Olin said.


somebodynew 8 years, 11 months ago

Wow, this has got to be a record for not posting. Smitty, Marion, and was_freash must all be sleeping in today. I would have this article would have be hijacked into anti-LPD threads a long time ago.

Personally, I think it is a pretty positive article and hopefully our community will not ever need for the Chief to use the contacts he has made by being part of this, because that means something bad has happened. But it is nice to know those resources do exist.

skinny 8 years, 11 months ago


I agree with you 100%. I am surprised Smitty and the black helicopters aren't flying around yet!


Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years, 11 months ago

Here we go, let me start it. Ron Olin is unfit to be cheif of anything. He endorses the actions of his "internal investigations unit" which fails to enforce violations of the law, the Miranda decision, and the U.S. Constitution in his department. I have proof in official documents of this. The city commission is responsible for the LPD and they completely ignore these facts. There you have it, the complete problem. But with the present spineless, clueless, irresponsible city commission, nothing will ever be done and this incompetant will continue to allow his department to violate the law and trample on Constitutional rights. Did I do o.k for your expectations????????

skinny 8 years, 11 months ago


Let’s see your proof?

You better watch for those low flying black helicopters!

I know Chief Olin and he is one of the nicest, most educated men I know. He is active in all aspects of the community including KU.

I am waiting frwent.


somebodynew 8 years, 11 months ago

frwent -

I sincerely apologize. I left you off the list (not thinking clearly when posting).

And yes, that is exactly what I expected - more of the same "stuff" that you have posted time after time after time with absolutley no proof. I know the case you are refering to and gee- you forget to mention that there was an attorney involved and court hearings and none of the things you claims were backed up. Was the attorney that incompetent ??? Personally, I think you should just move on past it, but I know you don't feel that way so we will just have a difference of opinion.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years, 11 months ago

Skinny, I have submitted my contentions to the city commission several times and been ignored completely. They have failed miserably to respond to a citizen complaint with valid information.

Somebody, YES, the attorney was incompetant. The attorney's first words to me upon meeting with her for a conference was that this case "was bulls$1t, direct quote. "We will make motions to the court" There was no compelleing evidence except the stuff they got by viloating rights of the Miranda (refusing to provide an attorney) and illegal search and seizure. But the attorney changed his/her tune when push came to shove. My complaints to the chief of police resulted in being told my concerns" about the violations of Miranda rights and illegal search and seizure were "unfounded". The man is totally committed to covering up the wrong-doing of some of his officers.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years, 11 months ago

And I am firmly convinced that this is not the first instance of the "internal investigating unit" covering the a$$ of the chief and some officers.

Let the fox guard the henhouse, yeah, right. Great logic!!

somebodynew 8 years, 11 months ago

OK, frwent -

I guess my next questions are:

  1. Did you file a complaint against the attorney?
  2. Was there an appeal filed for imcompentent attorney?
  3. Were there any court hearings (as opposed to a private plea deal) where a judge could make a decision about the Miranda and search violations?

If so, then of course the Chief is going to back the decision of the attorney and the court.

If not, why not ??? I do not think it is for the City Commission to go against a ruling made in court.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years, 11 months ago

Somebody, I am a bit hesitant to discuss this much further in public, but to answer your questions,, 2. no. and

I fileld a complaint against the officers with proof submetted to the police department, there was no court action involved here. This was my contention, that two Lawrence police officers had committed violations of constitutional law and legal precident. It was a decision of the "internal investigations unit" who had the chief notify me that my "concerns" were" unfounded". In otherwords, "we need to keep our officers safe from having their hasty and illegal judgenments made public."

As far as the city commission is concerned, complaints to elected representatives (State Representative, U.S. Congressman, Governer's office) all responded to me with the information that the city government was responsible for city law-enforcement oversight.

While I found the attorney to be less than desirable, my pick was not with the attorney. It was the two officers that violated constitutional law, plainly written in standard English, and legal precident of the Miranda decision. This chief of police is negligent in his duty to assure that his officers folloow the law and procedure. He did not.

somebodynew 8 years, 11 months ago

Well, with all due respect, (and also not wanting this to become too much of a public debate) I disagree with your premise that your complaint shouldn't be with the attorney. S/he is the one charged to be responsible for the protection of rights of the accuse. S/he is the ONLY one who could bring this to the attention of the Court. And the Court is the only one to make a legal ruling on whether you are right or wrong.

I do not mean to debate if you are wrong or right, it is just you are misplacing the direction you should be looking for a remedy.

Now I have to sign off for the day, I just found out an old friend died, so I have other things to take care of.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years, 11 months ago

Sombodynew- Just for your information, there was a complaint against the attorney on an unrelated matter, with the state disciplinary office in Topeka. But my bitch is, only is, and has been with the behavior of two Lawrence Police officers that failed to conduct themselves in a professional and legal manner, who should be prosecuted for this behavior and fired. I do not know for sure, but I have some information that at least one of them has been "demoted" but that is strictly heresay. The city would never release such information for fear of lawsuit. The officer has not been seen in the courthouse for some time.

This has been my issue for sometime as you know, and sorry to be such a gadfly, but I do believe in legal rights and I abhor what has happened here. I do not harbour any grief against any other law officer in Lawrence, they have been most helpful with the problems we have had with vandalism. All other persons I have had contact with in law enforcement and court services are fine folks, dedicated to their work and I support them completely.

skinny 8 years, 11 months ago


I wonder why you were ignored completely. Black helicopters again maybe???


Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years, 11 months ago

Hey skinny, no black helicopters here. Been lookin'for them, but I think they are over at Marion's place. Smitty has some interesting views of the LPD, but I will bet that he has not ever has some stupid kids damage his property because of gossiping and vicious neighbors. As I stated, I think that the chief covered up violations of two officers and do not in any way mean to state that the entire department is a problem. I think the chief is following his military training, alwaysbe sure to CYA.

John Frook 8 years, 11 months ago

The next time you interview the Lawrence chief of police please ask him: --Ask him whether he has received any respectful requests for responses from any citizen in the last 24 months that he has decided to issue no response. --If he says yes, ask him to provide him copies of these letters, or ask him whether he would agree to a public record's request and turn over said documents --See how many letters from people under his constituency he has failed to respond to in any way before the posting of this note --Publish a story and an editorial, an editorial written as if you do not own a monopoly. --Continue writing these stories, but also publish his salary which is a matter of public record when it comes to Dr. Olin

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