To the editor:
In a Sept. 20 article in the Lawrence Journal-World, interim Lawrence Police Chief Tarik Khatib questioned the need for more transparency in the Lawrence police department’s complaint process, inferring that no problems existed.
True to form, during Tuesday night’s City Commission meeting, Chief Khatib sat silently, just as Chief Olin would have, and made no comment to the commission after the city auditor summarized his report on possible areas of interest for a police department audit.
Isn’t it true? The more things change, the more they stay the same.
How disappointing it will be to discover that our new police department leadership may be remarkably like the old: silent, insular and apparently disinterested in citizen concerns.
Effective community policing requires collaboration and trust. I fear that unless the LPD changes their approach and their attitude, they will get neither.
It is the City Commission’s responsibility to ensure that the Lawrence Police Department operates with both transparency and accountability.
I sure hope that the commissioners will direct the city auditor to further examine, specifically, the police department’s complaint procedures and performance measures. For a city department whose annual budget exceeds $15 million, an outside examination of the LPD is long overdue.