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Letters to the Editor

Police image

August 20, 2012

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To the editor:

Upon reading the recent article in the Journal-World detailing former police chief Olin’s encounter with the police department after he discharged a firearm within city limits no less than five times, I couldn’t help but question what role Olin’s prominent past played in how this situation was handled or, shall I say, ignored. Regardless of what medical problems Olin faced/faces or how much credible evidence demonstrates that his actions were the product of a medicinal reaction, I have to wonder how many shots I could discharge within city limits without receiving as much as a ticket?

Whether this special treatment truly exists or is only perceived, for the Lawrence Police Department, the timing of this couldn’t be worse. With half the public still harboring distaste at the ticket-fixing scandal, and the other half displeased with the massive multimillion-dollar tax-funded expansion request amidst the worst recession we’ve seen in 70 years, this latest negative publicity will just get added to the pile.

As an outsider viewing all of this, I’m reminded of a saying a very wise mentor of mine imparted upon me once: “In this life we make our own luck.” Perhaps when the Lawrence Police Department grows tired of their negative public image, they will begin to take a course of action that serves to remedy that.

Comments

Roland Gunslinger 1 year, 8 months ago

Did Olin receive preferential treatment?

Only in the capacity that his normal demeanor is well known to these officers. Look, a cop is going to treat a stranger with a little more caution then someone he knows. Why? Simple really- you know the way they are behaving is not the norm for that person and that something is wrong.

If the Olin was a stranger to these officers it may have been handled differently because the cops don't know whether or not this is how this person typically behaves.

It's not preferential treatment- it's recognizing something is wrong because you are familiar with how this person is typically.

Cops often times will deal with the same people over and over again, going to the same residences. When dealing with these people they are going to treat them differently than the first time they dealt with them... they have now built a rapport and know these peoples normal behaviors.

Same thing with this case.

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Bob Forer 1 year, 8 months ago

The LPD killed Greg Sevier, who was suffering from mental illness. They did the wrong thing. The police handled the Olin situation quite differently, and perhaps did the right thing. (I can't say for sure, as I am not privy to all of the facts of the Olin situation.)

Mr. Herbert raises a thoroughly legitimate question, i.e., was the Olin situation handled differently from other similar situations because of his former position as Chief of Police? And if the answer is yes, the next logical question, of course, is who among the Lawrence citizentry receives preferential treatment from the police department?

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57chevy 1 year, 8 months ago

I'm not sure that a majority of the community is distrustful of the police, but it is not a small minority either. I guess being the police chief had nothing to do with the response from the police, but I would feel better if somebody else that doesn't own a barbershop ,bad bar-b-que restaurant, or was ex-police got anyhting like decent treatment. Everytime I've been burgled (that's a lot, for those who want to know), I have been frankly apalled at the lack of an attempt to care by the responding officers. The earlier commenter seems to think that any criticism of the police lies in a distaste for authority, mine lies in poor job performance. Instead of armored cars and cameras downtown (the only place in Lawrence that already has a decent police presence), maybe we could get a few police to investigate actual crimes? What a concept. I can't afford basketball tickets, but I'll get them a football ticket or two for catching the meth-head who is robbing me. Maybe a camera on my block?

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oletimer 1 year, 8 months ago

I read the story and all I hear is blah, blah, blah. Another day another whine from someone who doesn't like authority. And where do you get the "percentages" you quote about being "displeased" with the department? You would get out of your bubble and actually check around, a high percentage of folks in Lawrence are okay with the department. It is the small of percentage of haters like you that make the world look a whole lot whose than it is. As for "outsider", I doubt that very much. You were probably asked to write this fluff for the female police hater whose name escapes me right now. Blah, Blah, Blah.

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Hudson Luce 1 year, 8 months ago

Criminalizing mental illness isn't the way we should be going in Douglas County, not for the poor who can't get access to professional help, nor for Ron Olin, who presumably can. Jail is not a compassionate place, and for those with mental health issues, it isn't an appropriate place. LMH needs a psych ward, we need to stop putting the mentally ill in jail.

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UNIKU 1 year, 8 months ago

He was framed!!! Framed I tell you!!!!

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