To the editor:
This letter is in response to the recent articles regarding the Lawrence Police Department’s leadership. I worked with the LPD prior to my 2015 retirement from Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center. The chief, after his promotion, reached out to community providers and initiated staff training in Mental Health First Aid and Crisis Intervention Training (CIT). Statewide, I have worked with law enforcement agencies and have found our police and sheriff’s offices to be some of the best law enforcement agencies in the state.
In terms of Chief Khatib, his integrity, leadership, commitment to his officers and community safety are above reproach. These articles imply, through innuendo, inference, without evidence, that he had implicit involvement with the past scandal. It is wrong to make unfounded accusations toward a retiring, distinguished public servant. We should be celebrating his accomplishments. What happened to “we are innocent until proven guilty”? This being a confidential personnel matter, he will not be able to publicly defend himself.
We are very lucky to have the LPD with exemplary leadership. Within LPD there are likely excellent potential chief candidates. These articles imply that it is a mistake to look within the department for the next leader. I believe that is unwise and unfair.