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Letters to the Editor

Police support

February 22, 2012

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To the editor:

As a 22-year Lawrence police officer and a retired Kansas police chief, it’s difficult to read about police officers’ alleged misconduct, especially when the accused represent my former department. I have no information as to who the officers are or the details of any misdeeds, and I shouldn’t know. The rules on personnel matters do not change due to alleged police officer misconduct.

What I do know is that integrity and decency are the hallmarks of Chief Khatib and Manager Corliss. I’ve worked with both men. They are intimately familiar with the difficulties of leadership. Both have now risen to the unenviable positions of balancing these complex criminal and personnel issues involving active duty police officers.

Khatib and Corliss know well their responsibilities to the Lawrence community. I have faith that when the time is right, they will give all the information they can to everyone who is an interested current or former resident of Lawrence.

As for me, I intend to support Lawrence’s elected and appointed leaders while giving them the breathing room they need to work through these complex issues.

.

Comments

Ragingbear 2 years, 10 months ago

~~As for me, I intend to support Lawrence’s elected and appointed leaders while giving them the breathing room they need to work through these complex issues. ~~

Translation: I did the same thing when I was in control and don't want people finding out and taking my pension.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

I think the two preceding comments are inappropriate and wouldn't have been made without the cloak of anonymity. While they might be within the TOS, they are rather rude.

Amy Heeter 2 years, 10 months ago

Oh I don't know about that, but I can tell you I Puked a little in my mouth as I read the letter.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

1) This is a reposting of my comments on November 15, 2011:

I can tell a somewhat interesting, at least to me, story about police officers getting coffee and donuts at Winchell's in 1977 or 1978!

When I first started working at Winchell's, I was told that police officers in uniform were never, ever to be charged for anything.

That was my job, to give the police all the free coffee and donuts they wanted. And, I did my job.

It was explained to me that the reason for that store policy was to get as many police officers to stop by the donut shop as possible, for safety reasons.

Since I was a middle of the night employee that worked alone and the store policy cost me nothing personally, that was fine with me.

There are a few things that I remember about that store policy.

One is that it appeared to work rather well. I always had at least a couple police officers stop by in the middle of the night, so you would have been very stupid to rob the Winchell's donut shop because you never knew when a police car was going to be pulling into the parking lot.

That made me feel very safe.

Once two police officers arrived and told me what they wanted. I had never seen one of them before. I quickly supplied them with their order, and then something very strange happened.

The police officer that I had never seen before pulled out his wallet!

I said, "Don't worry about it."

And, the other police officer told him, "It's OK."

The police officer that had expected to pay looked a bit surprised, but accepted the reality that coffee and donuts are free, so stop by often, please!

And many police officers did stop by, probably because at that time there were very few places in Lawrence that were open 24/7 where you could go in and get a quick cup of coffee in the middle of the night.

lily 2 years, 10 months ago

As he stated it was usually the only place open at all hours where you could get a cup of coffee. And believe it or not folks, there are some officers who do not want to get free stuff because they don't agree with that policy.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

2) And then once in the middle of the night, everything changed.

A police officer came in, placed his order, and I quickly supplied it. And then, he insisted that he must pay! I tried to explain the store policy of free coffee and donuts for police officers, but he insisted on paying for his coffee and donut anyway.

I didn't understand this! That is the store policy!

Then, the police officer informed me that the chief of police had heard about the free coffee and donuts policy at Winchell's for any police officer, and he didn't like it.

That ended the argument between me and the police officer, and so I took his money.

It was very obvious from that moment on that every single police officer in town knew all about how the policy of free coffee and donuts for police officers at Winchell's had ended.

I suppose a memo had been sent to every police officer, and they were all able to read. After that, the police officers all paid for their coffee and donuts just like everybody else.

But, there still were an awful lot of police officers that stopped by in the middle of the night for a quick cup of coffee. And, quite often, a donut too.

And so, back in those days, I got to know quite a few of the police officers in Lawrence by face, and years later that became part of one of the most interesting situations that I have ever been involved in.

But, that's another story.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

And, that other story might very well have involved Mr. Mike Hall. I would have to ask him if he was the police officer in charge of the situation the night his officers called for massive backup to apprehend the former Winchell's donut man who was: 1) Across the street from his home. 2) Suspected of burglary, but was found to be carrying his own ice cream. 3) Employed by the University of Kansas at the time.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

Or maybe he was one of the 6 or 8 police officers that chased me down. It took a lot of effort to apprehend me.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

Here's a brief synopsis of what happened that night.

There was an unmarked police car that kept driving right past me at 2 AM in a deserted parking lot. It was a black Pontiac Firebird with very darkly tinted windows.

After the third time the black Pontiac Firebird drove right past me, I put my plan into action. I already had a plan in place to escape in case I was ever accosted there at night.

I turned around a corner of a building and disappeared completely.

A plain clothes police officer began to chase me on foot, but he never identified himself as a police officer. The only thing he did was shout at me "I've got you covered!"

I knew my way around the whole place in the dark, the police officer didn't, and I was moving really fast. Then, there was the sound of squealing tires as the black Pontiac Firebird speed around the other side of a very large building.

And, along the way, I dropped a carton of eggs and they all got broken.

It took 3 police cars and maybe 6 officers to chase me down and get me covered. There I was standing there with my back to a wall, holding a brown paper bag, looking at 5 or 6 police officers in a semicircle around me, and every one of them had his hand right by his pistol. It was very, very strange, just like something you would see in a movie.

Then, one of the police officers approached me and said "Give me the bag." So, I handed him the bag.

Very gingerly, he peeked into the top of the bag. Then he got a very funny look on his face as he lifted his head up to the officer that had started the whole chase, and said:

"Ice cream."

In an instant, every one of the police officers wilted, and it looked like a couple of them were about to bust out laughing.

Then, a police officer that was obviously their superior arrived in a fourth police car, and I knew him - from Winchell's!

I told him, "This is my ice cream." He didn't argue, but he did point out that maybe I should pick it up from the hood of the police car because it might melt there.

For identification, I presented my University of Kansas staff card.

After that, there really isn't much to tell.

rockchalker52 2 years, 10 months ago

"...If you want to find all the cops, They're hanging out in the donut shop. They sing and dance (Oh-Way-Oh) They spin their clock and cruise on down the block...

...All the cops in the donut shops say: Way-oh-way-oh-way-ooo-aaa-ooo... Walk like an Egyptian Walk like an Egyptian"

jaybird79 2 years, 10 months ago

This is all such a joke. Most higher up people working for this city are as corrupt and biased as anyone can be. We will never hear all the news that they don't spin as much as possible to make themselves look as innocent as possible. Cops here are untrustworthy and fit every stereotype there is. Has anyone looked at our former chief who, coincidentally, worked at KU after leaving the city? No doubt a connection for the tickets.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

"Cops here,,, fit every stereotype there is."

They did eat donuts. I know that for sure.

nativeson 2 years, 10 months ago

I know them both as well, and I believe they are both men of integrity. However, the police department has had a shroud of opacity in regard to its internal affairs for decades. Unfortunately, when issues like this do arise, it raises more suspicion given the lack of transparency. This has been the standard practice of the deparment.

Paula Kissinger 2 years, 10 months ago

Mike Hall's comments are something none of you would understand...it's the LEO brotherhood. If any of you had any idea what LEO's go through in their career lifetime you would not make these ridiculous comments...but then, as a retired LEO, like brother Hill, I understand where he is coming from. Those of us who have integrity, like Mike, speak the truth and would not put our good names on the line for those who do not deserve it. Perhaps many of you feel the same way about yourselves. Think about that before you begin bashing what you know nothing about.

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