Letters to the Editor

Positive reinforcement

July 9, 2012


To the editor:

It looks like Mary Krieger “got it” before Police Chief Khatib did. Krieger, a student at West Middle School, proposed that teachers at the school distribute gift certificates to students caught doing good (Journal-World, July 4). As a result, the atmosphere at the school improved. Khatib says his goal is to provide “non-confrontational interactions between officers and those they serve.”

I’ve always been puzzled by the passage in Romans 13:3: “Do what is right and you will be commended.” I know there’s an insurance company that, near Labor Day, gives money to random drivers they catch doing the right thing, but when is the last time the Lawrence Police Department commended someone for making their job easier? I believe it’s true that you see what you look for, and police have been trained to look for potential problems and respond to those which are identified to them.

How about a glance (and nod) to what’s right, now and then? Gift certificates, citations, or even publishing a list of names and why they’re being commended might encourage a more civil city. I guess being “good for nothing” is fine, but it might have a ripple effect if there were some recognition attached to it, as it has at West Middle School.


oletimer 1 year, 9 months ago

After reading this, I did not know whether to laugh or cry! Really? Am I the only one old enough to remember that minding your manners and doing the right thing without reward was the only way to go? This is what is wrong with today's society, or lack of. Everyone thinks they deserve something. As for making the job easier for law enforcement, try obeying the laws. That would help a lot. Rewards? Hell I don't even give my dog rewards for doing what he is supposed to. Even he knows the difference between right and wrong. More than I can say for this bunch.


smitty 1 year, 9 months ago

Then there is this little matter that Khatib called professional courtesy aka police culture....positive reinforcement at Khatib's best. He was the head of the traffic unit as all this occurred.

George Diepenbrock & Chad Lawhorn — Lawrence Journal-World February 16, 2012,

....Both Khatib and Corliss confirmed that “several” members of the Lawrence Police Department were involved in the dismissal of tickets, although they contend one individual orchestrated the matter. Neither Khatib nor Corliss would comment on how many department members were involved with dismissing tickets.

The city also did not provide details about the number of tickets dismissed or the time period over which the dismissals occurred. City officials said they were uncertain of how long the ticket-fixing activity occurred, but said they had evidence it took place over several years.

“It’s my job to make sure that it doesn’t happen again,” Khatib said. “It’s my job to reinforce to employees that this is not an acceptable behavior.”


smitty 1 year, 9 months ago

Khatib's positive reinforcement end result..corruption


msezdsit 1 year, 9 months ago

"Their incomes come through taxation, which they will get regardless of their performance or the effects their actions have on the public."

More complete Bs. That rogue police force that can do anything they want anytime they want to anybody they choose. Why, they don't even have any rules. Oops, there is that word "rule" synonymous to, (oh cover your ears and close your eyes) government "regulations."

Hold everything, if the police can get paid regardless of their performance, what happens when we get rid of the government regulations . Oh, I know, then the police can do anything they want to, or is that how it is already. What a conundrum.


smitty 1 year, 9 months ago

Khatib's gift certicate methods are well known.

By Eric Weslander — Lawrence Journal-World February 13, 2003

...An informant might give tips to police or point out a home where people are buying drugs. The 41-year-old woman went a step farther by putting her name on a "cooperating individual agreement" with the county's Drug Enforcement Unit. That agreement spelled out what she could and couldn't do as she helped police arrange drug-buying stings.

One thing she couldn't do was tell anyone the agreement existed.

Giving and getting

In most cases, people make such agreements because they want something out of the deal, said Lawrence Police Sgt. Tarik Khatib, who heads the Drug Enforcement Unit, a joint operation between Lawrence Police and the Sheriff's Office.

In some cases, police might give a cooperating individual money for groceries, gasoline or a month's rent, Khatib said. More often, he said, the individuals are facing criminal charges -- say, theft or forgery -- and they want to avoid serving time.

"Some of them are given breaks. That's the way it works," Khatib said. "You have to give people some breaks to get the guy next up the ladder."..


Benjamin Roberts 1 year, 9 months ago

Patrol officers could make random stops of drivers that are not speeding and reward them with KU basketball tickets.


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