After 10 months, results of community survey on interactions with Lawrence police still haven’t been released

photo by: Journal-World photo illustration

Last summer, Lawrence residents were asked to assess their interactions with local police, including appropriate use of force, existence of bias and handling of complaints. Ten months later, the results of that survey have yet to be made public.

The consultant-led survey was completed in September, and the Journal-World subsequently asked city representatives in March of this year when the survey results would be released. At that time, city spokesman Porter Arneill said the survey results were not compiled yet. On Tuesday, Arneill again said the information was not ready to be released. That’s despite a report in the Kansas City Star that the consultants sent the survey results and a final version of their report to the city more than two months ago.

More specifically, when asked Tuesday whether the survey results and associated report could be provided to the Journal-World, Arneill said in an email that the report was not finalized and that the city was continuing to work with the consultant in that regard.

“The study information is not yet considered to be a final report from the consultant,” Arneill said. “The city continues working with the consultant to finalize the report and it is anticipated that the report will be presented to the City Commission at a future date.”

The City of Lawrence commissioned Allegro Training & Consulting to conduct the survey and related report in July 2017. At that time, a city memo stated that Allegro would present summary survey results at a future City Commission meeting and that the summary information “will be readily available in several public formats.”

The anonymous survey asked respondents about themselves — including their race, gender, sexual orientation, income and other characteristics — and about their interactions with the Lawrence police department. The survey included more than 30 questions.

For example, the survey asks whether the police department is biased against certain groups of people, whether complaints made to the police are “taken seriously and acted on quickly,” and what practices need to be in place for the police department to serve and protect Lawrence residents. Practices that residents could select included body cameras, data collection from traffic stops, anti-bias training and tactical training on topics such as responsible use of force.

The Journal-World reported last year that the city’s contract with Allegro was for $20,000 and was being paid for out of the police department’s budget. Additional diversity training was subsequently added to the Allegro contract in December, according to a list of change orders previously provided to the Journal-World. Consultants with Allegro did not immediately return a call from the Journal-World Tuesday afternoon.


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