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Archive for Monday, August 1, 2011

During Tuesday night Lawrence City Commission budget talks, Bob Schumm to propose funding fewer new police officers

August 1, 2011

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The dickering is not done yet.

Lawrence city commissioners are set to finalize their 2012 budget Tuesday. But commissioners are indicating there will be a last-minute proposal to cut back on a planned expansion of the city’s police force, in an effort to limit a property tax increase.

City Commissioner Bob Schumm confirmed that he plans to present a proposal that would add only two new police officers instead of the four recommended by City Manager David Corliss. By cutting back on the police expansion, Schumm said, the city could drop the proposed mill levy increase from 1.88 mills to 1.7 mills. The 1.7 mills was approved by voters to fund an expansion of the Lawrence Public Library.

“This will get us to an amount that is no more than the voters approved,” Schumm said.

The proposal will draw debate. City Commissioner Hugh Carter said he was still learning about details in the proposal, but didn’t like the sound of it.

“I have felt from the get-go that the Police Department has taken a back seat for a long time,” Carter said. “Now it looks like we’re not even making the gesture that we’re working to get to where we need to be.”

But Schumm said he will propose that the city plan to add two new officers per year until staffing reaches an adequate level. New Police Chief Tarik Khatib has said the department could use 10 or more officers to get to adequate levels.

“Two is a good number to start with, and if we keep doing that, we’ll have several new officers in a few years,” Schumm said.

Commissioners, though, can’t formally commit on Tuesday to hire new police officers in future years. A current commission can’t bind a future commission, so any new hiring will have to win at least three votes each year.

Mayor Aron Cromwell said he was leaning toward supporting Schumm’s proposal, but does have some concerns.

“I definitely think we do need more police officers,” Cromwell said. “But I see some logic in trying to maintain the mill levy where it is at. I think what is important is that we make a commitment to continue adding in the future.”

Carter said the amount of savings in Schumm’s plan is minimal. It would reduce the mill levy increase by 0.18 of a mill, which would reduce the property tax bill on a $200,000 home by $4.14 per year.

“I know we can find that savings elsewhere,” Carter said.

Both Schumm’s plan and Corliss’ recommendation would continue to fund an existing detective position that currently is funded with a federal grant, which is expiring.

In other city budget news, commissioners are expected to debate some fee increases.

Carter said he is opposed to a staff recommendation to increase a system development fee that is charged on new construction that connects to city water and sewer service. The fee has been in place since the 1990s, and is designed to help the city pay for infrastructure projects that are caused by new growth.

For 2012, the city is proposing to increase the one-time fee by 11 percent, or an additional $340. Carter said such an increase would be sending the wrong message as builders in the community already have been hit hard by the economy.

“Housing is such a critical element to our economy,” Carter said. “As a government, there is a not a lot we can do to create jobs, but we can help create an environment to support economic development.”

Cromwell said he’s reluctant to go against staff’s recommendation on the system development charges. He said the city’s analysis shows the fees really ought to be higher than what’s being proposed. He said if the city doesn’t keep the fees at an appropriate level, it could make it more difficult for the city to start new infrastructure projects once the economy does pick back up. The biggest project on the horizon is a new sewage treatment plant south of the Wakarusa River.

“The builders who are impacted by the increase in this fee right now will be the ones who scream the loudest if that plant isn’t built on time,” said Cromwell.

Commissioners haven’t yet committed to a date to build the multimillion-dollar plant, but rather have said they want to wait until the city’s population growth rebounds.

Commissioners also are set to approve several other fee increases, including:

• A 2 percent increase in water rates and a 2 percent increase in sewer rates.

• A 2.7 percent increase, or about 40 cents per month, for residential trash service.

• A $7 increase in the city’s Municipal Court fee. The new fee, which represents the court costs that are added onto a ticket, will total $60, if approved. The new court fee would go into effect Sept. 1.

City commissioners will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at City Hall.

Comments

Paula Kissinger 3 years, 1 month ago

“Two is a good number to start with, and if we keep doing that, we’ll have several new officers in a few years,” Schumm said.

How these local idiots elected you back onto the commission I do not understand. They must all be transplants unfamiliar with your prior years of "service" such as this idiotic comment. Adding "several officers" in a few years will not even compensate for the ones that will be retiring much less bring the force up to a decent level for barely adequate service. But then it, of course, would be you that has contempt for the police...not decent citizens.

You are not doing what you were elected to do, Bob, which is to make decisions in the best interest of the citizens...not according to your own personal agenda. We encountered plenty of that through others no longer on the commission.

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MarcoPogo 3 years, 1 month ago

Whoa, who pooped in your pita? Take a deep breath or two before you break a blood vessel and/or the internet. Everything will be okay...

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Stain 3 years, 1 month ago

Actually, I have never seen 3-4 cops pulled over for one motorist. If you did, it must have been something other than a traffic stop.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

That happened to me once, many years ago.

What was going on was that they were training a woman rookie to handle a traffic stop at night, and they were giving her plenty of backup so that she would feel safe. That was obvious. And by the way, it wasn't only 3 police cars pulled over behind me, for a few moments it was 4.

They never caught on to what I was really doing, and so I got away with it.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

"(Ever see 3-4 cop cars for one pulled over motorist...lol)"

I can think of many reasons why there might be 3 or 4 police cars surrounding one single automobile.

And they range all the way from training a rookie how to safely make a traffic stop, to apprehending a bank robber.

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irvan moore 3 years, 1 month ago

mr. schumm is obviously anti anything not directly benefitting downtown, the police department needs to grow at a reasonable rate. the citizens of Lawrence expect and deserve a properly staffed and trained police force.

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Stain 3 years, 1 month ago

It's foolish not to realize an adequate police force benefits downtown. People won't go there if they don't feel safe! And not everyone feels safe downtown after dark.

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Gedanken 3 years, 1 month ago

I could agree more -

We don't need to add large number of cops to the police force. If anything - we need to educate the ones that are on the force now. A friend of mine's house was recently broken into and several pieces of computer equipment were stolen. We were able to track on of the laptops to an IP address. We gave it to the cop, but he didn't have clue one what to do with it.

A couple of years ago - I had a gun pulled on me while running in the evening. The people eventually drove off and I was only able to get the first couple of letters of the license plate. It took the cops over an hour to get to my house because they went to the wrong address. Then, they told me they would give the information to their detectives, but they wouldn't do anything with it. They also said that the first three letters of a license plate, Kansas plates, color of the car and ethnicity of the presumed owners were not enough to find the people involved. What?!?

Seriously - Lawrence cops are worthless.

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Gedanken 3 years, 1 month ago

If you go on the basis of just the license plate combinations - it is actually more then 999 possibilities. However, that is making the huge assumption that a) all of the license plates with the first three letters had been distributed to vehicles b) they were all the type of vehicle described and c) that they were all red. When you start taking those considerations into account then the number of vehicles will decrease dramatically. If we assume that the vehicle was probably from the area of Lawrence - that will narrow the search space to DG and the surrounding area (Shawnee, Wyandotte, etc.) Then you get some addresses and names - then you can filter by ethnicity. It wouldn't take a lot of work, but it would take a touch of effort. This is my complaint about the Lawrence Cops.

I guess I got a gun pulled on me because I was jogging? I have to admit that seeing me run could be very intimidating!

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wyattearp2 3 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Gedanken 3 years, 1 month ago

Am I an IT wizard or a disgruntled security guard? I am confused. I must admit - the attention you have given me makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

The door was locked and the back door had its glass broken.

An IP address is a very reliable thing - otherwise the Internet wouldn't work. It is true that you can't use it to tie an incident to a specific person. The best you can do is knock on the door of the physical address associated with the IP address and ask questions. If a person residing at the address has a history of theft then you may have probable cause to execute a search warrant. Then again, it may be an old lady that doesn't have a secure access point and someone is just using their WIFI. You don't know unless you try. Cops need to be educated on this, but it is quite apparent that our city cops are not.

Getting a gun pulled on you in Lawrence KS does happen. You just have to look at the LJ World archives to see that. Do I still jog at night? Yes. Am I concerned for my safety? No. Then again - I no longer live over by LMH were the incident took place.

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Bob Forer 3 years, 1 month ago

I'd rather have two extra cops than $4.14 in my pocket. Can't even buy a McDonald's Extra Value meal with the extra money.

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irvan moore 3 years, 1 month ago

it's better to have a cop and not need one than to need one and not have one

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Crazy_Larry 3 years, 1 month ago

When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

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Stain 3 years, 1 month ago

And as New York City proved, the visible presence of policemen is a strong deterrent to criminal activity.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

Have you ever noticed that when there is a police car near you in traffic, everyone is driving very carefully and safely?

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 1 month ago

When it comes to the LPD budget never has the LPD taken a back seat. It eats up a large portion of the budget.

Comm Carter has no idea what he is talking about.

“Housing is such a critical element to our economy,” Carter said. “As a government, there is a not a lot we can do to create jobs, but we can help create an environment to support economic development.”

Our city's current budget crunch could easily be tied directly to infrastructure expenses needed to serve new residential developments. The community is way over extended in this regard.

If residential growth paid for itself and was financially positive, we would not be in a budget crunch. But with increased numbers of residential you have increased demand on services, and historically the funding of revenues generated by residential housing does not pay for the services, they require from a municipality.

Why not increased IMPACT FEES or EXCISE TAXES? Local real estate developers have had a great time laughing all of the way to the bank on the backs of taxpayers. Time to stop this nonsense.

Additionally Basic findings:

  1. Lawrence is overbuilt in housing: Homes were built faster than popualtion growth supporting these homes. Excessive subdivisions caused an outmigration from older neighborhoods causing a severe loss of value, a loss of dwelling units, and a variety of other problems such as school closings. Basic strategy:

Lawrence should adopt a policy of "cooling off" the pace of development. Note: This is not a moratoriam; it is a consicous effort to redirect growth to existing neighborhoods and districts where it can be beneficial.

Housing: The city should stop approving new subdivisions until the existing supply of surplus homes is eliminated. It should direct housing investment back into older neighborhoods so as to preserve and protect the existing public and private investment there.

Kirk McClure – Lawrence,Kansas

Education Ph. D., City Planning, University of California, Berkeley, Department of City and Regional Planning, 1985. Concentrations in Housing Economics and Public Finance.

Master in City Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 1978. Specialization in Housing Policy Analysis.

Bachelor of Arts, University of Kansas, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 1974. Special Major in Urban Studies.

Bachelor of Architecture, Graduated With Distinction University of Kansas, School of Architecture and Urban Design, 1973.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

How many times in the past 10 days have you posted Kirk's CV, merrill? What's in it for you?

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

I don't mean to be rude, snap, but sometimes I wonder why you bother to point out that merrill clips and pastes the same things over and over. I think everyone already knows he does that.

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 1 month ago

Here, I'll say it: Kirk hasn't published in a while and what I have read of his work leads me to believe that he isn't particularly innovative or intellectually honest with his work. I would question why KU keeps him on staff but there is so much deadweight at that university that the question answers itself. Rather than using his old (and somewhat questionable) "research," why doesn't Kirk, Merrill and crew do some new, peer reviewed publishing on Lawrence?

In addition, if Merrill keeps pasting Kirk's CV, I will do a KORA request on Kirk's email to see how much political work Kirk is doing on the taxpayer's dime.

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Stain 3 years, 1 month ago

I want the city to spend what is necessary for police officers.

How about cutting back on the tax breaks and other gifts to developers?

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Scott Morgan 3 years, 1 month ago

well, future sales tax from tax incentive driven business could leave all this nonsense moot.

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Crazy_Larry 3 years, 1 month ago

I guess that begs the question, what exactly is necessary spending for police officers? Shouldn't we have a cop on every block for maximum safety? As far as I can tell, the crime rate in Lawrence has been dropping since 2007. Not because I've been arresting people.

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Stain 3 years, 1 month ago

Ask anybody who works the night shift in the emergency room at the hospital if Lawrence has enough police officers.

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Crazy_Larry 3 years, 1 month ago

I don't get the connection you're trying to make. More police equals less emergency room visits? Care to clarify? The only way to stop drunk drivers is to make alcohol illegal.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

It's rather obvious that he's not talking about only problems with impared drivers.

My guess is that he's also thinking about traffic violations such as speeding and running stop signs that result in accidents that are very often fatal.

And also, the results of violent crimes. Stabbing and gunshot wounds are particularly gruesome, I'm sure.

And of course, women who are raped are often found in emergency rooms as well.

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Crazy_Larry 3 years, 1 month ago

My point is, no matter how many cops you have there will always be emergency room visits. More police will not stop anything. The police don't stop crimes, they investigate them after they've occurred. It's a very rare occassion when the police actually stop crime from happening. See my previous post. Even if there was a cop on every corner we'll still have crime and emergency room visits.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

"The police don't stop crimes, they investigate them after they've occurred."

Maybe it's just me, but it always appears as though whenever a police car is nearby, very few motorists drive over the speed limit, run stop signs, or drive through red lights.

That reminds me of somehing. There was a small town somewhere that had a problem in that a lot of motorists from out of town were speeding through downtown.

So, they put up a very realistic billboard on the city limit that appeared exactly as though a police car was parked by the highway, pointing a radar gun right at you.

And after that billboard was put up, the speeding problem through downtown ended.

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Crazy_Larry 3 years, 1 month ago

Just so we're clear, RonHolzwarth, speeding is generally not considered a criminal offense...So, slowing people down really isn't stopping crime.

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Crazy_Larry 3 years, 1 month ago

Traffic tickets usually bring money to the city's coffers...rape, robbery, and murder do not.

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tolawdjk 3 years, 1 month ago

No, the only way to stop drunk drivers is to place a roundabout every 15 ft.

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jgier 3 years, 1 month ago

I don't know all of the facts, but it does appear that the taxes are on the table to increase at a significant rate in an already-higer property tax area.

Purely opinion from a limited standpoint...

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leftylucky 3 years, 1 month ago

How can the property Shumn owns (vacant lot) middle of downtown be taxed as agriculture and only pay 20 dollars tax. Is he paying a fair share.

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ResQd 3 years, 1 month ago

Interesting! Maybe I need to call him up and ask him how to do it with my property taxes.

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Boston_Corbett 3 years, 1 month ago

Why doesn't the LPD use the training offered without fee to the City by the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center in Hutchinson, instead of replicating it all in-house?

How much would that save in personnel? Why is Lawrence so "special" about its officers that it doesn't use this option which most of the State of Kansas uses? If LPD needs customized training for Lawrence procedures, it can still do that.

Why does the chief want to purchase a military grade Armored Personnel Carrier? (Yes, it is on his list of requests) And you want trust all his views of staffing levels?

And yes, I was involved in a minor bump-from-behind accident (no damage to me) which required 4 police cars.

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Food_for_Thought 3 years, 1 month ago

To answer your question, because I happen to know the answer; all Kansas law enforcement officers have to attend a Kansas certified law enforcement training academy. Candidates for Kansas law enforcement certification must first be hired/appointed by a Kansas law enforcement agency; a candidate in the State of Kansas cannot go to the academy on their own "dime". In other words, whatever department that hires the police recruit, must pay him/her their "hired salary", while the recruit attends the police academy.

By sending recruits to the academy in Hutchison, the hiring agency is putting their officers' education/training in the hands of another agency. Keep in mind that the Hutchison academy trains most of the recruits in Kansas; so, since most of Kansas are RURAL communities, the focus and scope of the training at the Hutchison academy will cater more toward the RURAL officer. This is why, if you'll notice, that Johnson County has a "satellite school" of KLETC in Overland Park, so that officers in SUBURBAN Johnson County are trained appropriately for the communities they serve. Kansas City, Kansas police officers...Wichita police officers...Topeka police officers...also attend their own police acedemies. Why? Because the communities these departments serve are not like the large majority of Kansas (which is predominantly rural).

If sent to the Hutchison academy, larger agencies like Lawrence PD have to put "faith" into the Hutchison academy that their recruits were properly trained, and from there, they have to "untrain" any bad habits or undesirable training learned from Hutchison's "cookie cutter" officer certification program. Additionally, Lawrence PD (like any other department that sends their recruits to Hutchison) would still have to spend weeks to expand the new officers' training/skill set to adapt that officer to the needs of that specific department and community.

So, instead of training/retraining/untraining officers, Lawrence PD (like other larger and suburban/urban agencies) has their own academy, where officers are trained and tailored to meet the needs of that particular department and community from the beginning, rather than "retraining" or "correcting" an already "trained" officer (from Hutchison).

From what I've heard, Lawrence PD has a large number of officers with college degrees, which I would assume translates into more "educated" police academy trainers. Also, according to Lawrence PD's training brochure, they have a 24-week training academy, versus Hutchison's 14-week training academy. I would imagine (or expect) that with 10 extra weeks of training, that the officers that come out of Lawrence's academy are better trained, but that is merely my assumption.

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Food_for_Thought 3 years, 1 month ago

As far as the armored vehicle, I read the same document that you did on Lawrence PD's website. From what I've read, LPD has no armored vehicle of any kind. If there were some sort of critical incident to take place in Lawrence, where there were assailants with firearms, including assault rifles, were to engage in violent criminal activity, Lawrence PD has no form of physical protection for their officers to respond. Bulletproof vests? First off, this equipment only protects the torso. Secondly, Class III-a bulletproof vests (the highest protection rating available for a "citizen"), only protects against small arms rounds. If the assailant has a high powered rifle, those rounds will cut through a police officer's vest or unarmored police cruiser like a knife through butter; the responding officers won't stand a chance.

Now I understand that these officers have pledged their duties as a protectors of the community, and that loss of life is a very real risk assumed with the job, but do you really want to see our city's officers placed in that position because you're so overly concerned with Lawrence PD becoming some "overly militant" policing agency?

What makes Lawrence "special"? Well, aside from the obvious, it is also home to the University of Kansas, a well-known higher educational institution. This, alone, puts City of Lawrence at a higher risk for terrorist attacks (no, not just Islamic radicals). Do you think Blacksburg, Virginia (with their population of roughly 40k citizens) thought they were "special" when the Virginia Tech shooting incident occurred? Do you think that the Columbine Massacre took place in a "special" city? Columbine High School is located in an "unincorporated" part of Jefferson County, Colorado.

Still not convinced? Do yourself a favor and look up "North Hollywood Shootout". Lawrence has recently experienced an increase in bank robberies, likely due to our country's tough economic times, and who's to say that a "North Hollywood Shootout" couldn't happen here? Would you rather your police department to be adequately equipped and prepared? Or would you rather just throw them to the wolves, like expendable "assets" of the community?

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Boston_Corbett 3 years, 1 month ago

Yea, you are right. I am still not convinced. You think Lawrence needs a military armored vehicle? I think that is beyond pretty ridiculous.

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Gedanken 3 years, 1 month ago

Your argument for an Armored Vehicle by citing examples of school shootings is bit of a straw man. How would have an armored vehicle prevented the examples that you cite? How would have additional body armor prevented the examples you cite? You are also making the bit assumption that they don't already have some type of riot style gear. I am willing to bet that they do.

I can come up with "What if?" scenarios till I am blue in the face. It doesn't mean that they will happen.

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Food_for_Thought 3 years, 1 month ago

I'm merely pointing out examples of active shooter incidents that occurred in a community's educational institution. The University of Kansas is no different. You cannot prevent ALL crime; not without grossly violating US citizens' rights.

Your argument is flawed, in the sense that "riot gear" is NOT bulletproof, let alone capable of protecting officers in the event that an assailant is armed with a high powered rifle.

The entire argument for an armored vehicle is the same as the one for a tactical team - its purpose is NOT for crime prevention, but rather crime response. You cannot predict events like the North Hollywood shootout, or the VT slayings.

You're absolutely right; you can come up with "What if?" scenarios all day long. You just defined the EXACT reason for police, fire, AND medical. WHAT IF your house catches on fire? Firefighters can only do so much (in the way of educating the public) to PREVENT fires, but generally, their function is to RESPOND to the "what if's" that actually manifest into an actual crisis.

Police can only do so much to PREVENT crime from occurring within the city. For everything else, police are there to RESPOND to an incident. The critical question is, "Is your police department adequately staffed and equipped to handle the "what if's"? Fire engines, ambulances...these are not commissioned by the City to PREVENT fires and medical emergencies. They are there to RESPOND, for when the unthinkable DOES happen. How would you feel if the fire department let your home burn down because they were not adequately equipped to handle the fire? How would you feel if medics told you that they don't have enough available resources to respond to your vehicle accident in an adequate enough time to save your passenger's life as your passenger bleeds out?

Police EXIST for the "what ifs". Since you brought up this topic, let me throw you some "what if's"...

What if a terrorist incident or other disturbance involving a deadly weapon occurred in Lawrence? If Lawrence PD does not have the armor or weaponry to safely respond to such an incident, you're left with two choices:

1) Do you want the police department to not respond to the incident, due to lack of staffing and equipment and unnecessary endangerment of police lives?

2) Do you want the police department, ill-equipped, to respond to the incident, safety and odds be damned, out-gunned and out-equipped, where the chances of multiple officers being injured or killed is high, and with the possibility that the situation could still not be resolved anyway?

Bonus question - if you prefer the latter, will you be there in attendance at the funeral of the fallen officers? What will your words of comfort be for the families of the officers whose careers are ended because their department was ill-prepared for such an incident?

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Food_for_Thought 3 years, 1 month ago

Lawrence PD is not asking for an armored vehicle to PREVENT crime. You don't see any officers suited up in black tactical gear, marching up and down the streets of Lawrence to PREVENT crime. Just like the fire department needs fire engines and ambulances, the police department needs an armored vehicle...to RESPOND to those unthinkable, unimaginable "what if's".

Hopefully you're right, and Lawrence will never experience such a terrible event; however, understand that Manhattan never thought that 9/11 would happen. Blacksburg never thought that the VT slayings would happen. Oklahoma City never thought that the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building would happen. You can go on and on about critical incidents such as these, and sure enough, no one thought it would never happen until it was too late. If you would like to take that chance for Lawrence to be remembered in later years as one of "those" incidents, by all means. I, however, am not one who enjoys to gamble.

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Food_for_Thought 3 years, 1 month ago

uglyrumor,

You are clearly misinterpreting what I've stated here, since it doesn't agree with your point of view, and twisting it to appear "backwards" in logic.

I have, in no way, stated that Lawrence PD acquiring an armored vehicle being the City's top priority. Comments were made on this article (and other articles) about the very concept of Lawrence PD having an armored vehicle as "ridiculous" or unjustifiable.

It's quite justifiable, as I've explained why; however, Lawrence PD has other "greater" needs that would and should come well before acquiring an armored vehicle. More personnel (civilian and sworn), equipment, a new facility...the list goes on.

You completely missed the point by reading my posts in a manner how YOU wanted to interpret it and ran with the idea. Lawrence PD needs an armored vehicle...just not now, not when it has other higher priorities that must be addressed.

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Boston_Corbett 3 years, 1 month ago

Good job of slamming rural Kansans, food for thought. You imply that Hutchinson only trains un-educated rural Kansans....quite a biased assumption. And what is this difference between Urban and Rural law enforcement and the necessary training??? I would suggest that policing in Dodge City or Liberal could as challenging if not more than in Lawrence. And I would also think you need to review the educational attainment for a lot of smaller police departments in Kansas.

As for the "cookie-cutter" comment, sure, localities should be allowed to tailor training....but the training in Hutchinson can't be all wrong. If they are picking up "bad habits" in Hutchinson, why are we as a state supporting police training which trains "bad habits."

The training officers in Hutchinson train full time. Lawrence trainers are part-time, are they not? Why not take advantage of the best set of instructors?

Why staff to do the 14-week training which the state provides? It is a luxury. Let's put people on the street.

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Food_for_Thought 3 years, 1 month ago

WRONG.

Policing a rural community is different from policing an urban community. If you can't realize this, then you don't know what you're talking about.

I'm not going to throw this discussion any further off-track because you lack the understanding or desire to educate yourself on the differences between rural and urban policing. If you want to enlighten yourself, don't ask others to do it for you. If you're seeking someone to educate you, enroll in a university and pay the appropriate tuition.

According to the most recent data, Lawrence has between 87,000 and 92,000 residents, excluding "non-resident" students. Lawrence is the 6th largest city in Kansas, and the "Top 7" largest cities in Kansas all train their recruits at academies other than Hutchison. Do you find this to be a coincidence? Or are the 7 largest cities in Kansas "doing it all wrong"?

I'm very pleased that you decided to bring up the "full-time" vs. "part time" argument. The role and response in law enforcement is ever-changing. Most of KLETC's instructors (as shown on their website) are either retired or, as a full-time instructor, haven't seen the streets in years. These instructors can certainly update their knowledge of certain policing strategies and procedures, but in the end, it is only "theory", and these instructors have not practically applied such material.

Let's use an analogy; say, you are facing a complicated surgery with a newly-trained surgeon. Would you want that surgeon to have been instructed on your surgery by a retired surgeon who has not been near an operating room in several years? Or would you rather the surgeon be trained by another surgeon who is currently practicing and continues to perform a number of the same surgeries?

With part-time instructors, the student is taught by an equally-competent officer, but also by an officer who still "lives" the current laws, policies, procedures, strategies, and tactics. These instructors can teach the recruits "modern" policing, with what works and what doesn't in the community that these recruits are being training to eventually serve. Lawrence is not Wichita; nor is it Crowley County, Overland Park, or any of the other agencies where the "full-time" instructors hail from. Each agency and each community is policed differently and each community has different expectations of their police department.

The larger a community gets, the more complicated and "unique" it becomes in their demand of the community's policing force. Full-time, part-time...doesn't really make a difference ultimately if the instructors teaching the officers aren't training and preparing the officer to function effectively within their unique and individual communities.

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Food_for_Thought 3 years, 1 month ago

Why doesn't Lawrence provide a 14-week academy versus their 24-week academy? I don't know, perhaps the same reason that the Kansas Highway Patrol holds a 22-week academy, or Wichita Police Department hosts a 23-week academy, or KCK Police Department hosts a 24-week academy? Bigger cities are more complex and higher volume in their crimes. Larger cities train their officers longer to cover more material and to spend more time covering relevant topics to ensure the recruits are adequately trained to meet the higher demands of a larger department and community.

Think of it this way; A bachelors degree typically requires an average of 130 credit hours, give or take. A masters degree requires another 50 credit hours, give or take. Lawrence PD's academy is over 40% longer than the basic KLETC certification in Hutchison, and roughly three times the number of hours required by Kansas' mandate of "no less than 320 hours" for an officer to be certified in the State of Kansas. More hours = better education and understanding = more effective police officers. There are only two ways for a police officer to become more effective - training, and experience; the latter of which can only be acquired with time.

Keep in mind that Lawrence PD, like any other Kansas-certified police academy, has to have all of their training material approved by the KLETC in Hutchison, so the training received to each recruit is no less than what is received by the academy in Hutchison.

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Boston_Corbett 3 years, 1 month ago

I would agree. I see no need for KCK, JoCo, Shawnee County or Wichita to have separate academies for their basic training. So that argument doesn't have legs.

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Food_for_Thought 3 years, 1 month ago

The only argument here "without legs" is yours. Try reinforcing your statement/opinion with a supporting argument. I would love to hear what you have to said in regard to this topic...

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TheBigW 3 years, 1 month ago

(quote)Why does the chief want to purchase a military grade Armored Personnel Carrier? (Yes, it is on his list of requests) And you want trust all his views of staffing levels?(quote)

Most likely planing on getting some of that gubberment drug war monies to fund it, that way they have a new toy show off to the public (help you feel all safe like) & to play with on all the K2 raids their planing..... guess is you'll see it parked through a window in a downtown business with in weeks!

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Gene Ramp 3 years, 1 month ago

Penny wise and pound foolish IMO

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somedude20 3 years, 1 month ago

Funny, all of the stories that I have heard about Blobby from the 80's kind of make this story funny......hey I love Coke too Blob as Pepsi stinks!

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Sigmund 3 years, 1 month ago

Recently there was $300,000 reduction in what the city spends each year to replace aging fire equipment despite the infrastructure sales tax voters approved in 2008 and the city agreed to spend about $500,000 of sales tax money each year to purchase new fire equipment. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/jul...

This cut to the City fire department was approved by Mr. Schumm despite the fact that he received corporate welfare for new sprinklers in the form of tax payer subsidies. Here are the other private businesses who got corporate welfare for their fire sprinklers:

Tellers, 746 Mass: George Paley Lawrence Masonic Temple, 1001 Mass: Consolidated Properties, aka Doug Compton Buffalo Bob's, 719 Mass: Bob Schumm Goldmakers, Peter Zacharias The Bayleaf, 725 Mass: Anne Yetman The Casbah, 803 Mass, David Millstein Hobbs, 700 Mass, Mark Swanson Silverworks and More, James & Cara Connelly http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/apr...

At a Online Round Table on the future of downtown I asked Mr. Schumm, Mr. Compton, and Mr. Paley some questions:

Does the recent cut to the fire protection in the City of Lawrence, in spite of the the clear intention of the voters and promises of the Commissioners, concern downtown landowners less because they have taxpayer subsidized sprinklers? Do Commissioner Schumm, Mr. Paley, and Mr. Compton favor a special tax on all their properties to pay back those subsidies to mitigate the recent $300,000 reduction all of Lawrence now face in 2011? http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/jul/15/town-talk-downtown-roundtable-event-planned-monday/#c1689250

But somehow, cub reporter and PR hack Chad Lawhorn, never got around to asking any of them! http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/jul/18/live-blog-downtown-property-owners-discuss-future-/#c1694688

Bottom line? The police station is located downtown and although a few new officers would significantly decrease the response time to other parts of Lawrence, the response time downtown would not be significantly improved.

Isn't it about time the the downtown landlords and businesses start to give back to Lawrence Community for all that we do for them? Let's start with an additional 1% special tax on downtown businesses to help fund a few new police officers.

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optimist 3 years, 1 month ago

I find it difficult to form an opinion on an issue from information garnered from a news article so lacking in detail. If it is important enough to write a story about then it should be worthy of taking the time to conduct the research. Otherwise it's just stirring up emotions. Thanks Chad Lawhorn.

Information that includes quantifiable data would be helpful. How many man hours are required to police Lawrence around the clock? How much of it is done with overtime? What does the cost of new police officers do to the cost of overtime? Crime trends as well as staffing trends. Comparisons of the Lawrence community, police department, crime rates, etc. and that of other similar cities might give some perspective. I could go on and on.

At this point this story was an absolute waste of time to write. It reads more like a soap opera.

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Food_for_Thought 3 years, 1 month ago

As the 6th largest city in the State of Kansas, with the population of over 90,000 residents (excluding "non-resident" students), Lawrence is anything but a "small town".

An obese person can "think like a skinny person" all they want, but that doesn't address their weight problem.

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years ago

What would Yellow House do?

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Tony Kisner 3 years, 1 month ago

Seems the city is discounting the positive effect of the new library. The new facility will enhance the citizenry’s knowledge and understanding. Such an enlighten populace should reduce the number of larcenist, jaywalkers and other ne’er-do-wells. Thus reduce the required number of policy officers. Although there is a new Dunkin Doughnuts coming to town. (Way too easy)

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