Opinion

Opinion

Police requests

June 20, 2011

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To the editor:

During last week’s study session, Lawrence Police Chief Tarik Khatib submitted a memo to the City Commission, requesting several million dollars in funding for the Lawrence Police Department (LPD). This money would be in addition to the department’s proposed $14 million budget for FY 2012. The additional monies are proposed to fund staff positions, facility improvements and equipment purchases.

While some of the items listed in the memo may have merit, others warrant serious skepticism. Does the LPD really need an armored car and new submachine guns with platforms? Given the city’s current economic condition, this LPD request must be scrutinized by city commissioners and citizens alike.

I have suggested to city leaders that the LPD needs to engage the community in developing a strategic long-range plan to determine budgetary and departmental priorities. I continue to hope that our new chief will heed this call and solicit feedback and participation from taxpayers.

Unfortunately, the department’s history on accountability is not good. In 2005, a resource plan proposed for the LPD suggested that quantifiable performance measures to be tied to funding, to no avail. In 2010, the city auditor identified a number of potential performance audit topics, and suggested that the LPD’s administrative bureau be reviewed. Thus far, neither of these efforts toward accountability have been embraced by the City Commission.

I encourage Lawrencians to review the police department’s wish list and communicate their questions and concerns to both the chief and the City Commission.

Comments

Amy Heeter 3 years, 10 months ago

If you want laws enforced the equipment needs to be up to par. It is one thing to question authority , quite another to impede it.

Grundoon Luna 3 years, 10 months ago

Our Police Department has suffereed greatly without an armored car with a sub-machine gun mount. Elvis H. Presley!! How can anyone take you seriously.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

Why stop with an armored truck and sub-machine guns? Think of all the crime LPD could stop if they had a AH-64 with FLIR... Jeez!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a7/Ah-64_ground_with_weapons.jpg

And with the Supreme Courts 8 to 1 ruling in Kentucky vs King the po-po don't need no warrant. Think of all the crime you can stop! And if there's not enough crime...hey, they can just make it up as they go along! Hooray for the facsist police state that is modern day amurikkka! Ef yeah!

http://www.greeleygazette.com/press/?p=9805

Get a grip, freak.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

End the 40 years of failure that is the "war" on drugs and the police can demilitarize.

Stuart Evans 3 years, 10 months ago

we need to quit turning our police into para-military thugs. the police state is here, and now they want us to finance it.

somebodynew 3 years, 10 months ago

arti - while I agree with your thoughts, it is not wrong sometimes to ask legitimate questions about the need for some things, particularly in this economy. I don't think any organization should just be given a "blank check" and told to go buy what they want. Now, I do think those questions should be asked by the CC and the Manager, not by every person who has a like or dis-like with the LPD.

And I would like to note that Laura wrote a well-reasoned and thought out letter. I don't often see that on the LJW when it comes to disagreeing with the LPD.

Stuart Evans 3 years, 10 months ago

"Now, I do think those questions should be asked by the CC and the Manager, not by every person who has a like or dis-like with the LPD." Every citizen should have an opportunity to voice their concerns about EVERYTHING going on at the police department. This is our tax dollars and our civil liberties at stake.

nativeson 3 years, 10 months ago

The LPD budget has grown faster than revenues over the last 4 years. The commission has done as much as it can to provide more funding to core services like LPD. Increase in LPD funding has come from shrinking other service departments. They must figure out how to reallocate other resources within the department to help with shortfalls. This is what other departments have done to help keep taxes down. We should expect the same from all City departments.

Kathy Getto 3 years, 10 months ago

I think Ms. Routh has done a fine job with this letter as already mentioned.

"Normally I would be in support of spending more money on [law enforcement.]. Not now though. Everyone is struggling and now is not the time." It is one thing to question monies spent on education, quite another to impede it.

kernal 3 years, 10 months ago

Oh, puhleese, Liberty One.

I wonder why our LPD feels it necessary to have an armored vehicle equipped with machine guns with platforms. I'm sure they have a reason.

There are a lot of "what ifs" to this.

sr80 3 years, 10 months ago

They ( LPD) is going to need the armored car to battle with our soon to be outraged senior citizens! you laugh? Just wait and see,you will be amazed i,m sure !!!

kansasredlegs 3 years, 10 months ago

The Militarization of Civilian Police has become the standard over the last few years. Like politicians and "It's for the safety of our children" justifications, police departments simply roll out the "Criminals are getting better armed each day, so we have to be ready for every conceivable contingency." Such a philosophy is not only misguided but dangerous. While some of LKPD have a military background, most are pretenders which are those who want to dress up and look the part of soldier but never had the fortitude to actually sign up. Before the rants start, just look at the biographies of the officers on the City's CRT Teams who get to carry those submachine guns and wear the masks.

Will the "turret gunners" have to take any special training courses at Fort Riley before being turned loose on our City streets?

50YearResident 3 years, 10 months ago

I agree and armored car with machine guns is going over the top for Lawrence, Kansas. Now if this was Chicago, Detroit or St Louis it might be justified.

Paula Kissinger 3 years, 10 months ago

If the Chief has requested these things, he has a valid reason that he does not have to justify to the general public. Sorry folks...some things are not for public knowledge and this is why operations in the PD are usually efficient...no outside rumors, speculations, blabbing or meddling to interfere with cases. If you want to know something, ask the PD. If you still do not understand, ask some more. You are going to get the information that is available to the public and no more. If you want to know more, joint the force and see what really goes on. You will be surprised. It is absolutely nothing like you imagine. This is the police department...it is not city hall. There are things not disclosed to preserve and protect the public peace. As citizens you know what you need to know. The PD isn't "hiding" anything from you. They are protecting you...this is their job and they do it very, very well. If you disagree, like I said, join them. It isn't easy.

50YearResident 3 years, 10 months ago

I heard by the grapevine that the police were going to raid the home of "PitBullGrandma" due to suspected unknown activities. Now I would hate to interfere in police business that is kept secret, just because they don't have to tell. So get ready Grandma an armored car is comming in the wee hours soon. Or to a neighbor hood close to you.

ashamedofyou 3 years, 10 months ago

You can find instances for abuse of power in EVERY SINGLE job on the planet. Teachers, politicians, police officers, grocery store clerks, bartenders, coffee house baristas. I can find you many, many instances of teachers abusing their power of authority. Hell, I can find you a ton of instances of grown adult teachers, male and female, who take advantage of their students naive nature and hold sexual relationships with kids far to young to understand the ramifications. HOWEVER, that doesn't mean that all teachers are bad. Some parents abuse their children....does that mean all parents are bad? Should I pull up a you tube of child abuse to lump each and every parent ever to prove to you that all parents are bad. L_O - Grow up and get a life. Your conspiracy theories are annoying...however, I have some alien memorabilia and footage from 9/11 showing that bush is actually behind it I'd be interested in selling you. Geesh!!

goodcountrypeople 3 years, 10 months ago

Someone needs to police the police--especially in places like Douglas County, where it doesn't take a rocket scientist to notice the rampant dishonesty, corruption, and conflict-of-interest that pass for law enforcement. The current criminal activity at KU among their rogue's gallery of higher-ups is a direct result of this sort of thieving attitude among locals in charge-- who look to be all in bed with one another. Sorry I don't care to join!

People who abuse power do it because they doubt they will be held accountable. Among the current crowd it's a virtual certainty truth and decency will not receive respect. There are very few in Lawrence who do any type of job competently. KU police do not even have a publicized complaint procedure--total barbarians.Douglas County still relies on under-the-table unconstitutional,"cowboy" forms of justice.Letters from my crapola public defender in reference to a dirty deal he made with the state after KU tried to frame me easily prove that.

jimroberts 3 years, 10 months ago

I always find these debates amusing. Our police department, whose primary responsibility is to protect and serve our community, is asking permission to update their antiquated equipment and add a protective vehicle to help officers during high risk assignments but the naysayers are jumping all over this. I never read about questioning a multiple-million dollar fire department headquarters or a $800,000 fire truck and let's not forget about the $18,000,000 library. I'm not saying these things are not important; however, the police department is asking for equipment that cod potentially save a citizens or officer's life. The CC and citizens need to prioritize... Do we want a police department that is proactive or reactive to the criminal element?

50YearResident 3 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence "Swat Team" comming soon to quell all the riots on Mass St. How about a new "Hellicopter" to go with that armored car? We need Back-up with night surveilance equipment too. Lets get this show on the road.

50YearResident 3 years, 10 months ago

According to City Commissioners, Lawrence has an never ending and very deep money pit as long as the taxpayers keep shelling out and are not complaining. Wait, maybe thats why we need an armored car to quell the roits of the tax protesters. Looking ahead to predict we are going to need a bunch of new police with riot gear, now that's good planning..

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

We don't need no stinking badges (or police).

50YearResident 3 years, 10 months ago

Good idea, now you are falling in line, if you know what I mean.

sr80 3 years, 10 months ago

I,m sure they could get a old M-60 tank on the cheap that would do the same job as the new fangled armored car.

50YearResident 3 years, 10 months ago

Maybe this is all a ploy to show a huge request so they will settle for what they actually want. More officers and more money. I think I am getting it now, ask for twice as much as you really want so the citizens will think they have won by cutting it in half. Come to think of it, that works for me at home too with the wife. She wins every time.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 10 months ago

How much is budgeted for Double Naught spies?

rumor_man 3 years, 10 months ago

Let them get it all since they now have money to spend with the closure of YH.

somedude20 3 years, 10 months ago

What is next, a spy drone with rocket launchers? How about a robocop, no major city is complete without one? What about a Blue Thunder? With all of the crime these days, Lawrence will surely need one of those as well!

Hows about a Phased plasma rifle in the 40 Watt range?

I am all for the Police getting what they NEED not WANT.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

The Houston Police Department wasn't planning on announcing its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) test program. But when a local news team from KPRC caught the drone on camera on Nov. 16, the department reluctantly released some information, however skimpy.

Read more: Houston Cops’ Test Drone Now in Iraq, Operator Says - Popular Mechanics http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/space/4234272

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

Don't spend money on an armored car and sub-machine guns...The next purchase should be personal, wearable, digital cameras for all officers that will record their every action. It will protect the police and the public. We don't see budget requrests for this 'accountability' type of equipment now, do we? We can't afford that!

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

Johnson County Sheriff's Office gets high-tech cameras

http://www.nbcactionnews.com/dpp/news/region_kansas/johnson_county/johnson-county-sheriff's-office-gets-high-tech-cameras

There are several options available. I don't think I could handle something hangin' out my ear all day...

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

Oh, they'll find reason to use it...even if they have to make something up out of thin air...

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

Why should anyone believe your story? I read it on the internets...

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

Please remember, Citizens, the New World Order Paramilitary Police are not your friend and they certainly are not required to "protect & serve". Their motto is "us against them." Instead of citizens, we are civilians... This should be cause for concern to everyone.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

"They kicked our door in, basically beat up my boyfriend because he was intoxicated. They kicked him in the head more then once, and yelled at me as if I was lower than dirt."

Oh nooooo! The police are here to protect and serve us.... Better tighten your tin foil hat, lady.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

Warren v. District of Columbia The court held that official police personnel and the government employing them are not generally liable to victims of criminal acts for a failure to provide adequate police protection.

RogueThrill 3 years, 10 months ago

How in the world have we gotten along this far without equipping our police officers like they are a paramilitary force? I mean, we've seen the news for years where the police lament how they lost the bad guy because they he went Mad Max on them and they didn't have any assault vehicles.

somedude20 3 years, 10 months ago

I want a Lawrence RoboCop. You hear me Mr. Cromwell? Our future depends on a Robocop and we will never truly be safe until we have one

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

You're the freaking cry baby... I see people posting legitimate concerns. Go crawl back under your rock, boot licker.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

OT says "Yep. Miss Routh's rant has awakened all the folks that love to question authority. "

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” -Albert Einstein

“The best government rests on the people, and not on the few, on persons and not on property, on the free development of public opinion and not on authority” -George Bancroft

“Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence he is just using his memory” - Leonardo da Vinci

"They must find it difficult, those that take authority as truth, instead of truth as the authority" -Gerald Massey

"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then." -Thomas Jefferson

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