To the editor:
As a graduate of the Lawrence Police Department’s Citizens Academy I would like to extend thanks to the Lawrence Police Department, past and present members, as well as their families, for their service to our community, their personal touch, their fair but firm policy and their representation of civility and order for our city.
Many like-minded Lawrence residents have had the opportunity to take part in this program, which introduced and explained the functions, philosophies and theories of the LPD. Former participants of the program Steven Butler, Dudley Crow, Rob Farha, Kevin O’Malley and I are working to create the Lawrence Police Foundation. We hope the LPD will be well-respected, appreciated and have adequate funds to continue such a great service to our community.
A concern of the Lawrence Police Foundation is that the LPD’s annual budge as a percentage of the city’s total budget, has been flat over the past five budget years even though the level of services the police department provides remained the same. The budget shortfall curtails the LPD from developing a long-term strategic plan and keeps them from obtaining necessary equipment. The current budget leaves little or no funds for keeping pace with adequate staffing levels, ever-changing technology, training techniques, strategies and funding for something as necessary as a back-up generator for their headquarters if a natural disaster where to occur.
Please take the time this week to thank current and past LPD employees for keeping our city safe.