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Letters to the Editor

Police questions

February 22, 2012

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To the editor:

Sadly, the recent revelation of ticket-fixing by Lawrence police officers supports long-standing rumors of corruption within the department.

The city manager’s statement that this incident will cause only “momentary damage” to the credibility of the police department is astounding. Apparently, Mr. Corliss and other city leaders are choosing to simply disassociate themselves from the unconscionable acts of their employees in hopes that the matter will go away.

I believe that the public’s anger is justified. The message that this incident sends is that police officers in Lawrence have the “discretion” to accept bribes, and are allowed to give their friends and relatives breaks that the average citizen does not get. For city leaders to characterize such official misconduct as “professional courtesy” or simply a violation of the city’s “gratuity policy” is just plain offensive.

I have a number of questions. How do we know that ticket-fixing has not been a historic and standard practice within the LPD? How is it that this activity is not considered a crime? Do we know if officers were also taking cash? How long has this activity been going on? How many officers were involved? How many tickets were dismissed? 

The department’s continued lack of transparency gives taxpayers no reason to dismiss historic allegations.

The Lawrence Police Department and City Hall have a lot of explaining to do.

Comments

samsnewplace 2 years, 1 month ago

I find it very sad that the one advertisement I can read on this page as i'm typing is in reference to KU Tickets.

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oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 1 month ago

Given that Ms. Routh has pushed for the Recycle Carts at your homes, donated to Mayor Cromwell's campaign, (boy there are some real whackos on that list filed with the State, check it out), I hardly believe Ms. Routh is credible.

Conspiracy? Maybe she and Cromwell cooked up something like the "anonymous" letter...hahahahah..

Ms. Routh needs a hobby, deliver meals on wheels, get a job maybe.

This letter is indicative of the perception of Lawrence that Commissioner thinks needs to be changed.

Well, Commissh Dever and CArter, stop appointing these people to various boards and commissons.

Enuf said about this.

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smitty 2 years, 1 month ago

The FBI has an excellent explanation of police corruption dynamic. Worth the time to read. Here's a sample and the link . The explanation runs parallel to what is happening in Lawrence.

FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/may_2011/law_enforcement_professionalism

.....Senior officers may test new members of the law enforcement profession. For example, they may see how amiable recruits are to accepting gratuities. It long has been believed that this practice can be a gateway to more serious corruption as it provides the opportunity for corrupt intent.11 Accepting the free cup of coffee is the example most often used, and it is held that once officers engage in minor illegal or corrupt behavior, they find it easier to do more.

But, accepting small gratuities is a test of loyalty. In the corrupt subculture, fidelity becomes more important than integrity, and officers learn that their peers frown upon morality and independence.12 Research into this process of inculcating recruits into the group found that newer officers were more willing to admit to seeing unethical acts (e.g., accepting free food) committed by other officers than were those with more time on the job. One conclusion would be that the length of time an officer is exposed to this socialization process, the greater its impact.

When this loyalty to the subculture becomes too strong, the solidarity that follows can adversely affect the ethical values of the officers. The typical "us versus them" mentality creates an allegiance to the members stronger than that to the mission of the department or even the profession......

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oletimer 2 years, 1 month ago

Mz Roth. You must be so happy, as you have been anti-police forever. One bad apple does not ruin the whole cart. Yes there has been wrong done. Yes, if you give them a chance, they will fix it. You don't seem to understand that law enforcement is here to protect you and me. While I don't really care about you, my safety is important. Mind your own business and let the officials do what they need to. Join a bridge club or something. Leave the police department alone!!

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wolfmn1958 2 years, 1 month ago

Smitty,because there morons. You are a very smart an carefree person. You speak what is on your mine. That I can respect. Some people just don't know how to leave well enough alone

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smitty 2 years, 1 month ago

Why are all of you addressing me? I'm not in this thread

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mustrun80 2 years, 1 month ago

I don't understand, the government is corrupt?!?! I thought it was all knowing altruistic progressiveness?

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UNIKU 2 years, 1 month ago

Consider the source here folks....consider the source....blahblahblahblah

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equalaccessprivacy 2 years, 1 month ago

By the looks of it, Smitty's brains and integrity should form an object of envy and model of emulation for you, Cheeseburger! We won't stoop to your level by trading smears.

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cheeseburger 2 years, 1 month ago

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

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consumer1 2 years, 1 month ago

This woman just looks for a chance to create a conspiracy.

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skinny 2 years, 1 month ago

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

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Amy Heeter 2 years, 1 month ago

Discretionsatory authority, indeed.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 1 month ago

I think it's all going to come out in the wash.

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