Archive for Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lawrence Police Department swears in 13 new officers

Thirteen new Lawrence Police recruits are starting at the recruit academy this week. The swearing in ceremony was held Tuesday at the Investigations and Training Center.

August 23, 2011


Some of the 13 new Lawrence police recruits visit with city and police department officials after they were sworn in during a ceremony at the Investigations and Training Center on Tuesday, August 23, 2011. From left are Chris Schweer, Lauren Link, Sheri Stites, Meagan Horvath and Dean Kemppainen.

Some of the 13 new Lawrence police recruits visit with city and police department officials after they were sworn in during a ceremony at the Investigations and Training Center on Tuesday, August 23, 2011. From left are Chris Schweer, Lauren Link, Sheri Stites, Meagan Horvath and Dean Kemppainen.

Lawrence police and city leaders Tuesday morning welcomed 13 new officer recruits — six women and seven men — and said the class would allow the department to increase the number of patrol officers in the city, once recruits complete ninth months of training.

“We have made it a point to fund this department and to make sure that you are here this morning,” City Manager David Corliss told the new class shortly before they were sworn in at the department’s Investigations and Training Center, 4820 Bob Billings Parkway. “I think it speaks well of this community’s commitment to law enforcement. We view this not as just a position, a job, but a career.”

The Lawrence City Commission recently approved four new patrol officer positions as part of its 2012 budget, and Police Chief Tarik Khatib said city leaders authorized the hiring of the 13 officers to fill the four new positions and anticipated attrition in the force by the time the new officers are ready to patrol on their own next May.

Khatib lauded the recruits and said they had a diverse background in their past work experience.

“That brings a certain kind of maturity and leadership. We have several who are leaders in different walks of life,” said Khatib, who was promoted to chief in February. “All of those things prepare individuals for this type of work.”

Only one recruit had past law enforcement experience and another has military law enforcement experience, but Khatib said it was common for the department to hire recruits new to the field and put them through a 24-week training academy specific to Lawrence and the department. Earlier this year he did hire six officers who had worked in other Kansas departments and put them through a six-week academy in an effort to fill positions quicker.

Members of the new class said Tuesday they were eager to get into the field.

“I think it was the closest thing I could get to without actually being in the military,” said recruit Jake Burke, 28, a 2001 Lawrence High graduate who served in the U.S. Coast Guard. “We do a lot of great interaction with the community, and that’s what interested me.”

Ashley Johnson, 26, who grew up in Kansas City, Mo., often worked with law enforcement as a licensed social worker.

“This is something I always wanted to do,” said Johnson, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Kansas University and also has a master’s degree in public administration. “I knew I wanted to do public service, but I was just trying to figure out how I fit into that arena.”


matahari 4 years ago

ahem, I thought they were cutting back on the numbers? and why always 13? Isn't tthat an unlucky number?

Scott Drummond 4 years ago

Or much more likely, a speeder or someone who doesn't do his part for insurance company profits and wear a seatbelt.

Liberty275 4 years ago

I hope they are hired to serve the public's needs and not merely used as a means of drumming up extra revenue with unwarranted speeding or traffic traps.

Bob Forer 4 years ago

What evidence do you have that would support such a supposition.

MarcoPogo 4 years ago

They've been parking their cars next to that church and nailing speeders for well over 20 years.

MarcoPogo 4 years ago

I'm saying that that is ALWAYS a hot spot. You are connecting dots that have nothing to do with each other. By the same logic, I can claim that the LPD loves to read funny church marquees so they only stop cars in those areas.

Now what do we do? We're both right.

MarcoPogo 4 years ago

Or the church marquees have not been as funny lately as they were in the past.

Phone_Man 4 years ago

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

ferrislives 4 years ago

I agree that if you get caught speeding, then that's too bad for you. It's happened to most of us at some point in our lives.

but I have to disagree in one case Phone_Man: I've seen police sitting with their radar detectors and stopping people in construction zones that were 20mph when absolutely no work was being done. I hate people that speed in construction zones when workers are present; how inconsiderate and dangerous can you be?

But I have a big problem with giving speeding tickets when there is no one around just to build up revenue, and they had a habit of doing that in the past. In fact, I've seen more speed traps in construction zones when there aren't any workers than when their are. How can they explain that?

Phone_Man 4 years ago

I'm not trying to argue with you however I would like to add my thoughts on construction zones. Most construction zones on the interstates are marked "while workers are present" I don't recall many being marked this way in town. My thought on this is there could be hazardous conditions that remain after workers have left for the day; holes in the the ground next to the roadway, machinery, limited visibility, you get where I'm going. If that is the case work zone speeds would be an acceptable expectation while workers were not present. Most interstate projects protect you from these types of hazards with concrete barriers. Many projects on surface streets in town do not offer this type of protection.

ferrislives 4 years ago

I'm not talking about interstate construction zones. I'm referring to construction zones in town. For instance, I remember them doing that on Kasold, and West of 6th Street when no one was around and it was the weekend. That just didn't sit well with a lot of citizens of Lawrence, but they cared more about money than they did about good will at the time. I haven't seen it done in a while, but that might be because they've "supposedly" been short of officers. Maybe it will pick up again; hopefully not.

Phone_Man 4 years ago

I wasn't there so I don't know the condition of the site. However my point was perhaps they felt a hazardous condition was still present, and frankly unless it was marked "while workers are present" or the construction zone signs were removed, they were in the right.

Sean Livingstone 4 years ago

Right, like putting up a 20mph sign, and then put a ton of police on 15th Street during construction? To be honest, speeding doesn't cause accident... not focusing on the road does. I saw an accident behind me on KU campus, the car behind me got her bumper knocked because the driver behind her was talking on the phone. She concentrated but was so unlucky. I got a friend who got 14 speeding tickets in 10 years and never had any accidents in his whole driving career, but I had a friend who has no speeding ticket and involved in 4 accidents in 15 years. These are pretty common...

ferrislives 4 years ago

"Right, like putting up a 20mph sign, and then put a ton of police on 15th Street during construction?"

Not during construction; while nothing is being done, like on a weekend. That's all I'm referring to. People that speed through construction zones while workers are around are pretty low in my book, and I have no issue with them getting stopped.

howie1 4 years ago

Congrats to the new cadets... I wish you all luck

Bob Forer 4 years ago

The Lawrence PD historically has had a high turnover rate.

Ken Garner 4 years ago

Jeez Smitty, really? Can you please take your conspiracy theories elsewhere? Have you ever considered the Lawrence training facility is maybe just so bad a@@ that our trained officers are being recruited by other agencies and just end up moving on to bigger and better things? And if that's so they need to be replaced. Not to mention population growth. I mean really, what are you so afraid of? Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! BOO! Scared ya didn't I? Anyway, good luck officers and stay safe and welcome to Lawrence, I think you will like it here. We appreciate what you do, most of us anyway.

formerfarmer 4 years ago

Why do you want everone else identified by a real name when it says smitty (anonymous) by yours?

Ken Garner 4 years ago

Yeah, there's one in every town, someone should give her a noogie.

Ken Garner 4 years ago

Oh right, I didn't even think about that, thanks for the heads up. Noogie: to muss ones hair and top of the head with ones knuckles, IN A PLAYFUL MANNER. Thanks, I feel better now that i have cleared my name.

Ken Garner 4 years ago

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

BlackVelvet 4 years ago

okay, I call someone a "moron" and get my post deleted. You can call someone "stoopid" and it's okay? You must be corrupt and are paying off the LJWorld. That's it, you are CORRUPT! (waiting for THIS post to be deleted now)

BlackVelvet 4 years ago

I noticed in the document "psychiatric evaluation", someone had written "lies" in longhand in the margin next to some typed information. Apparently that was not the official document or it wouldn't have been in longhand, therefor making it .... suspect? How is that document proof?

BlackVelvet 4 years ago

uh, no. I was not at the prosecution table EVER. were you in the courtroom?

dogsandcats 4 years ago

"...once recruits complete ninth months of training."

CalamityKim72 4 years ago

Funny....I am on the lower end of the "food chain" so to speak. Have lived in this town my whole life. All "we" hear about is how corrupt this police deparment is. I USED to respect them when I was a child and even into my young adulthood. However, since reaching middle-age, have found them to be arrogant and DEFINATELY acting too big for thier britches. Alot of them 'bend' the rules, so to speak, and aren't doing what we, as tax payers, are paying them to do. I think Police Chief Tarik Khatib should take a real good look at the internal structure his office and start to break down just what exactally are his men doing during their shifts. Including reviewing the 'notebooks' the officers use to take down information. He should also review all of his SENIOR officers and their track records. Who they've been in contact with on the streets more times than one. And are they justified 'stops' What was the outcome of that stop and was there a ticket issued? Do they tend to make one type of arrest or contact more than another. example Do they have more of a drug type arrest versus a domestic or traffic? I believe more often than random drug testing, folicle only, should happen. Anyone employed by the city are REQUIRED to be subject to random drug testing. I'm not saying you can teach an old dog new tricks, but you can eliminate the bad examples so that the new dogs don't learn bad habits. With all that said, I would like to welcome the new recruits, that will eventually get transferred elsewhere, and bid you all good luck. Even the 9 that are training to be drug enforcement. Have a nice day. :o)

jaywalker 4 years ago

Perhaps the dumbest post of the day. Congrats L-1!

jaywalker 4 years ago

And smitty's your second! Nice!

jaywalker 4 years ago

I'm a "uniform worshiper" and "would believe every lie" because I find it moronic for some idiot to irrationally judge 13 new recruits as "thugs"????!!!! What the hell is wrong with you? In your pea brain ALL police are thugs? Briiiiiillliant! This certainly casts a pall on how I've come to view your posts before now, L1. Grow up a little, wise up a lot.

gudpoynt 4 years ago

bwahahaha! This from the man who decries "straw men" at every juncture.

"Jaywalker would believe their every lie and send that innocent victim to jail"

There you have it. Jaywalker wants to imprison the innocent. Jaywalker must be a real monster. Jaywalker is the enemy. Boo him.

LO, you're hypocrisy is adorable.

FiremanChris 4 years ago

It's great to see some LHS grads and familiar faces in the group; I'm glad they hired some people who grew up here. Best of luck

jaywalker 4 years ago

ferris: "But I have a big problem with giving speeding tickets when there is no one around just to build up revenue"

Right. 'Cuz it's not speeding if there's no one around. Construction zones should automatically turn into autobahns the second the road workers leave the site, that's what I say. Uh huh.

ferrislives 4 years ago

Well, what can you expect from a "jaywalker". You like to break the law every day. Watch out for the po po!

jaywalker 4 years ago

Like I said before, like dealing with a 12 year old.

ferrislives 4 years ago

12 year old's are cool. What do you have against 12 year old's? Are you ageist or something? Lighten up already.

riverdrifter 4 years ago

Move to Manhattan, you pig. There's room in the barn. No, wait!

waka3 4 years ago

dude lawernce has way to many police

Carol Bowen 4 years ago

Other than the usual college town stuff, they also have to deal with gangs from Kansas City and Topeka. They must be doing a good job, because no one seems stressed about crime.

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