mickyd01 (Michelle Derusseau)

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Checking on possible charges for father who shot 10-year-old; Police presence at 14th and Mass; Calls suggest violent weekend

Lawrence has an "average" number of officers per citizen. In 2012 cities with 50,000 residents employed an average of 17 officers per 10,000 residents. In 2012 Lawrence had 151 sworn officers and around 90,000 residents (16.9 police per 10,000 residents). Today Lawrence has over 90,000 residents and 148 sworn police officers (this does not include the 10 that just began the academy last month or the several that will be retiring before the end of the year) . Here is a link http://www.governing.com/gov-data/saf...

July 21, 2015 at 3:36 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Talk of new police facility stirs up controversy at study session

Here is some of the site information as provided on the City's website...
http://www.lawrenceks.org/assets/poli...

July 21, 2015 at 11:22 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Talk of new police facility stirs up controversy at study session

Controversy? Not sure what controversy was stirred up last night at the police facility study session but there was a lot of important information shared. Four residents spoke during the public comment. Of those four, only one resident was skeptical about the police facility (that individual is quoted in the article above). The others that spoke; Mr. Danenberg discussed aerial surveillance, Ms. Sinclair had many issues none of which were directly related to the police facility and Mr. Hammon had a question for the architect regarding the parking garage and a question for the Mayor regarding the Hallmark site. It was a very informative meeting which should answer many of the questions the public has had. Like, why it normally costs more to renovate an existing, non-law enforcement structure. Why the precinct model isn't appropriate for a community our size, why it would actually cost more. How building codes for critical structures have changed and are now stricter. How if they choose to renovate the current facility it would have to be gutted, it would cost more than building new and where do you put the department during the renovation? The fact that community policing is not a police station in every neighborhood. It is a philosophy, a two way street how the community and the police interact. If you want the facts and answers to these questions you will need to watch the video on the City's website once it is available.

July 21, 2015 at 9:02 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence City Commission reopening study of new police facility

Mr. Heckler, you want plan B and C? That is what this study session and process is all about. I suggest you visit the following links and look at all the information available and some of the different options http://www.lawrenceks.org/police-disc.... In regards to renovating the existing office building at Bob Billings & Wakarusa here is the study for that http://www.lawrenceks.org/assets/poli... . You might want to take advantage of all the resources available to actually educate yourself
on the upcoming process, ideas and options. This process could be very beneficial if all parties participating in the conversation actually studied the facts and information instead of spouting misinformation, being irrational, jumping to conclusions, making accusations, fanning conspiracy theories, etc. The community said they wanted to be involved in this process so now is your chance. But let's make it an educated, informed conversation, stick to the issue at hand and work together to address this need.

July 20, 2015 at 9:09 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City commissioners will consider existing buildings for police headquarters

This has been an active discussion since early 2011. The Needs Assessment Study was approved in the fall of that year. The study was presented to the Commission in May, 2012. Not sure how 18 months was determined but we are way beyond that.

June 8, 2015 at 3:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City commissioners will consider existing buildings for police headquarters

David, correct it is not a $28 million facility. The original proposal was $25.7 million for a facility (with a $1.5 million nest egg already in place, that is why the sales tax was for $24.2 million). Originally the total project cost was $27.9 million when you included the $2.2 million to purchase the 47 acres from Hallmark. The Hallmark property is no longer part of the proposal. There is nothing being proposed that is $28 million. However, if we continue to drag our feet on this tax payers will get less for their money as construction costs continue to rise.

June 8, 2015 at 9:24 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Important input

"By Herbert’s logic, the city should disband all of its advisory boards and simply leave policy decisions up to the “experts” in every city department without any input from that pesky “public.” A task force and an advisory board are two different things. Commissioner Boley proposed a group of community members study materials that have already been presented to the commission and make recommendations to the commission so a resolution was written to form a Task Force not an Advisory Board. Task Forces are temporary groups formed to develop recommendations to the Commission by a certain date. We've had them in the past for the Farmers Market, Cultural District, Retail, Retiree Attraction, most recently Pedestrian-Bicycle Issues but nothing as critical as a police facility. These task forces in the past included at least some individuals with experience related to the task at hand. Commissioner Boley did not recommend anyone for the task force with any related experience on this issue. Advisory Boards are an entirely different thing and they were not even discussed. Advisory Boards are on going committees with board members serving terms, they are made up of at least some professionals in that particular field and related fields. For example Aviation Advisory Board (pilots), Plumbing Code Board (plumbers), Social Services Funding Advisory Board (United Way, VNA) Mechanical (engineers), Electrical (electricians) these Advisory Boards include professionals in those fields. There was nothing mentioned about disbanding Advisory Boards. The video of the meeting is up on the City's website.

June 5, 2015 at 3:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Signs point to pending closure of 300-employee call center downtown; new proposal to emerge to locate police HQ in former Riverfront Mall; update on city's rental licensing program

Dan, thank you. The concern will remain though that it is what, a 25 year old building? And being land/water locked there is not room for future growth. Thanks again, I'll look forward to seeing the new proposal and continuing the conversation.

June 2, 2015 at 9:22 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Signs point to pending closure of 300-employee call center downtown; new proposal to emerge to locate police HQ in former Riverfront Mall; update on city's rental licensing program

The original proposal submitted for the Riverfront Plaza was in September, 2013. The cost of the building at that time was listed as $3 million in their proposal, now listed as $5 million. The bottom line completion cost in the proposal is $26.6 million (I'm guessing that has gone up also). So you'd get a 25 year old building for more than the cost of land and a brand new, purpose built facility. It would be land/water locked, no room for future growth. The proposal calls for the hotel to remain in the same building and the out building would be built on a separate lot. You'd go from one money pit (the ITC) to another. If we are going to spend millions of dollars let's do it right. Here is the link https://www.lawrenceks.org/assets/doc...

June 2, 2015 at 8:21 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence City commissioners to host listening sessions about police headquarters project

As far as "why a $28 million building instead of say, a $22 million building?" Different cost levels were presented to the Commission back in late July or early August you should be able to find the information in the Commission Meeting minutes. Also, it is actually a $25.7 million building the $28 million included the property if it was built at the Hallmark site. As far as "what will happen to the old facilities?" The 8,000 square feet at the Law Enforcement Center is leased from the County they will get some money back from the County as they "paid into it" when it was built. The building on Bob Billings Parkway will be sold. The Morton building will be demolished, the building on East 23rd (also leased from the County) will be demolished when the County moves from that location. The Historic Barn who knows, it's on the historic registry so it's limited what can be done with it. The Parking and Animal Control currently in the parking garage on New Hampshire will probably be used by the City. Currently the LKPD spends approximately $288,000 per year on redundancy costs which does not include the amount of money wasted on fuel and man hours while they drive back and forth between facilities. They are unable to expand the current facilities and renovating is not an alternative as there is not enough space. A lot of this information can be found on the City's website. The City has been studying this for years, they made the best choices based on that information, which can also be found on their website.

Lawrence does not have the highest sales tax in the State. Here is the link to the Kansas Sales Tax Rates http://www.ksrevenue.org/pdf/pub17000... where you can look for yourself. Here is a quick list of cities that have higher sales tax rates than Lawrence. Please note this list does NOT include special tax districts. Auburn 8.8, Bonner Springs (Johnson County) 9.125, Bonner Springs (Leavenworth County) 8.9, Bonner Springs (Wyandotte County) 8.9, Caney 8.9, Carbondale 9.15, Cedar Vale 9.15, Cherryvale 8.9, Chetopa 8.9, Clay Center 9.15, Coffeyville 9.15, Council Grove 8.85, De Soto (Johnson County) 9.125, De Soto (Leavenworth County) 8.9, Dodge City 8.8, Fairway 9.375, Gardner 8.875, Geneseo 9.15, Grandview Plaza 9.4, Herington (Dickinson County) 9.65, Herington (Morris County) 9.65, Independence 9.15, Junction City 9.4, KCK 8.775, Leavenworth 9.15, Liberal 8.9, Louisburg 8.9, Luray 9.15, Mission 9.0, Neodesha 9.15, Paola 8.9, Parson 8.9, Pittsburg 8.9, Pomona 9.65, Sedan 9.65, Spring Hill (Johnson County) 8.875, Spring Hill (Miami County) 9.15, Tonganoxie 8.9, Topeka 8.8, Wamego 8.9 and Yates Center 8.9.

January 12, 2015 at 4:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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