The Lawrence Police Department now has eight new medical devices that officers can use to help save people who are experiencing heart attacks.
The city on Tuesday evening was formally presented with eight automated external defibrillators to be placed in patrol cars of the police department.
The recently formed Lawrence Police Foundation, a group of private citizens who raise money to support the department, garnered $11,000 in donations to buy the defibrillator units.
Sgt. Trent McKinley, a spokesman for the police department, said the donations will help the department replace 11 defibrillators the department received in the late 1990s as part of a grant. Those devices no longer are supported by any service plans and don’t include the latest technology.
McKinley said the department has a goal of having an automated external defibrillator in every patrol car. McKinley, though, said the department will need about 30 defibrillators total to reach that goal.
The Lawrence Police Foundation raised the money for the devices largely through a golf tournament this summer and through private donations, said Nadine Hyde, who serves as president of the group.
The foundation formed in the summer of 2011, and the latest donation marks the largest fundraising effort yet for the group.
“We’re pretty excited that we’ve been able to raise this much money this soon,” Hyde said.
A new board and a new funding plan to attract retirees to the community were approved by Lawrence city commissioners at their weekly meeting on Tuesday.
Commissioners agreed to turn over the responsibility of implementing a plan to attract retirees to the county's Douglas County Senior Services Board.
The board will have up to 11 members, with six appointed by the Douglas County Commission and five by the Lawrence City Commission.
The funding agreement approved by city commissioners also calls for the city and the county to equally split any future expenses related to a marketing plan for the retiree attraction efforts. The city and county also will equally split any additional salary that is determined necessary to attract a new senior services director who would oversee the retiree attraction efforts. Currently the director position is being filled on an interim basis by former City Manager Mike Wildgen, until a replacement is found.