Posts tagged with Lawrence Police Department

‘Coffee with a Cop’ that was snowed out has been rescheduled for March 30

The Lawrence Police Department’s recently snowed-out “Coffee with a Cop” event has been rescheduled for the end of this month.

The public is invited to mingle with officers from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. March 30 at McDonald’s, 1309 W. Sixth St. The department is billing the drop-in event as "an opportunity to ask questions, voice concerns, and get to know the officers in your community.”

Police had planned to greet residents in late February, but that event was cancelled at the last minute due to icy weather.

Police Chief Gregory Burns Jr. has said getting to know community members is among priorities he has for LPD.

“We have to get out and do things like this in the community to establish that ongoing partnership,” he said in October, the month he started the job. “If you don’t do that, then the job of the police department won’t be complete, because we can’t do our job without the community.”

— I’m the Journal-World’s public safety reporter. Reach me by email at or by phone at 785-832-7187. I’m also on Twitter, @saramarieshep.


Local first responders had a hand in mega-size American flag at Chiefs home-opener

On Sunday, local first responders were spotted on the field at Arrowhead Stadium for the Kansas City Chiefs home-opener.

Okay, so you may have needed binoculars to actually spot them from the stands — unfurling a pro-football field-sized American flag by hand requires a lot of hands, and Lawrence area first responders made up just a few of those doing the honors.

The Lawrence Police Department and Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical representatives donned their dress uniforms to participate and posted a few photos on their social media accounts with more close-up views.

None by Lawrence Police

According to the Chiefs, the day’s official American flag holders were first responders from “throughout Chiefs Kingdom.” The Chiefs went on to beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-20.

— I’m the Journal-World’s public safety reporter. Reach me by email at or by phone at 785-832-7187. I’m also on Twitter, @saramarieshep.

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KU student activist arrested on outstanding warrants

A prominent University of Kansas student activist has been arrested on several outstanding warrants.

Trinity Carpenter, 30, was arrested Thursday afternoon at 1420 Research Park Drive regarding two failure to appear warrants issued out of Lawrence Municipal Court, according to the Douglas County Jail's online booking logs. She was released from jail later that same day after posting a $520 bond.

The two warrants stem from accusations of misdemeanor traffic violations and a misdemeanor theft conviction, said Lawrence Municipal Court Clerk Jennifer Pfeiler.

Carpenter is an active member of Lawrence's Black Lives Matter group. She was a part of the group who staged a sit-in at a Lawrence City Commission meeting last September. The group demanded from the commission letters of solidarity with BLM and with the American Indians protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. She was also a part of the group who took over a Lawrence school board meeting in December, causing the board to adjourn prematurely.

Trinity Carpenter

Trinity Carpenter by Conrad Swanson

Carpenter has also been involved in other activities around Lawrence, including a candlelight vigil held last July to honor Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two black men killed in police shootings.

Representatives from the Lawrence Police Department did not immediately respond to questions seeking more details about Carpenter's arrest.

Douglas County District Court records show Carpenter has several criminal convictions on her record. Between 2005 and 2008 she was convicted of offenses including conspiracy to commit robbery, criminal damage and obstructing the law enforcement process.

I report on crime and courts for the Journal-World. I can be reached by email at, by phone at (785) 832-7284 or on Twitter @Conrad_Swanson.

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Law enforcement, emergency management offer advice in preparation for incoming ice storm

If you're out driving and you begin to spin or slide, experts say the best course of action is to turn into the spin. But the best course of action, all agree, is not to be on the icy road in the first place, if you can help it.

Over the next few days Lawrence is expected to see a decent amount of freezing drizzle and rain. Yesterday, the National Weather Service in Topeka said it would not be surprising to see an inch of frozen rain.

An ice storm warning will be in effect for Douglas County from noon Friday to midnight on Sunday, according to the NWS.

In preparation for the storm law enforcement and emergency officials are offering a few pieces of advice for those bracing for the storm.

Douglas County Emergency Management said in a release the winter weather will likely hit the area in "three waves."

"The first wave will most likely be very light and spotty, but could begin as early as Friday evening," the release said.

While the first wave might be lighter it will serve as a foundation for dangerous travel conditions through the weekend, the release said. Then the second wave will likely hit Saturday afternoon and into the evening.

"This wave will be heavier and produce the most significant icing conditions," the release said.

In this file photo from Dec. 21, 2013, Kansas Highway Patrol officers work a multi-car accident caused by icy conditions on the Kansas Turnpike east of Lawrence.

In this file photo from Dec. 21, 2013, Kansas Highway Patrol officers work a multi-car accident caused by icy conditions on the Kansas Turnpike east of Lawrence.

Alongside treacherous driving conditions tree damage and downed power lines can be expected, the release said.

"The final wave of precipitation will move through Sunday night into Monday morning, though we are expecting this to be primarily in the form of liquid rain," the release said.

In a release the Lawrence Police Department encouraged area residents to buy "necessary items" before the freezing rain hits.

Once the freeze begins, LPD then encouraged residents to "take everyone's advice and stay in this weekend."

In another release the Douglas County Sheriff's Office offered a few tips, reminding residents not to underestimate the weather.

"It's Kansas, folks," the release said. "You know it can get bad quickly."

Though the sheriff's office strongly encouraged motorists to avoid travel unless it's absolutely necessary, it also offered a few tips for staying safe on the road.

"If you are in a wreck or a slide off, in most instances the safest place for you to be is in your car with your seat belt on," the release said. "In bad weather, it's not uncommon for other vehicles to wreck or slide off right where you did."

The chances of injury or death increase greatly if you're outside your vehicle, the release said.

"So buckle up and stay safe," the release said.

I report on crime and courts for the Journal-World. I can be reached by email at, by phone at (785) 832-7284 or on Twitter @Conrad_Swanson.

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Fourth tweet-along in store for the Lawrence Police Department

The Lawrence Police department is prepping yet again to take folks at home, via social media, into the world of an officer.

On Jan. 21, LPD will conduct a tweet-along, the department announced on its popular Twitter account.

This will be the department's fourth event of this kind. All you need to follow along is internet access. The department's account is @LawrenceKS_PD.

"The tweet-alongs have been exceptionally well-received, and do a tremendous job increasing our following on Twitter," said Lawrence Police Officer Drew Fennelly. "Our primary goal in social media is to more actively engage with the citizens we serve, so the tweet-alongs present a perfect opportunity to reach a huge portion of our citizens and have somewhat of a back-and-forth with them."

If you've followed along with the last three tweet-alongs you'll recall there's never a dull moment. Indeed, no two days are alike for an officer.

The tweet-alongs not only help the department have contact with area residents, but they also provide a bit of insight into what the job is like, Fennelly said.

There is no specific plan for the evening, Fennelly said. "We have no expectations going into our tweet-alongs, we just let the chips fall where they may, and hope for an interesting and entertaining virtual ride along," he said.

I report on crime and courts for the Journal-World. I can be reached by email at, by phone at (785) 832-7284 or on Twitter @Conrad_Swanson.


Clown sightings still coming in, though police say they’ve yet to encounter a costumed character

Lawrence is no exception to the ongoing nationwide reports of folks dressed up as clowns, though police say they've yet to actually see one of these costumed characters.

Since Oct. 3, Lawrence Police Sgt. Amy Rhoads said the department has had around 16 reports "where someone either allegedly had an interaction with someone dressed as a clown, saw someone dressed as a clown, or had questions regarding clowns."

Despite more than a dozen reports, Lawrence police officers still haven't even seen someone dressed as a clown. Even if they did, it's not illegal to dress like a clown, Rhoads noted.

It remains unclear what's caused the influx of clowns across the country.

If this is because Halloween is so close, then I've got to say, I've seen better costumes.

And if this has nothing to do with the impending holiday, then I'd say y'all can go ahead and do your thing. It's strange, but whatever.

While Rhoads said other police departments may have seen violent incidents reported with people dressed as clowns, no such criminal activity has taken place in Lawrence.

I report on crime and courts for the Journal-World. I can be reached by email at, by phone at (785) 832-7284 or on Twitter @Conrad_Swanson.

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Lawrence Kwik Shop employee allegedly points gun at customer, yells, “freeze, you’re under arrest”

A gas station employee allegedly pulled a gun on a patron last week after an argument among customers over prepaid gas, Lawrence Police Department spokesman Sgt. Trent McKinley said.

The kerfuffle went down like this, according to McKinley:

Just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, two groups of customers at the Kwik Shop at 1420 Kasold Dr. were arguing about who prepaid for which gas pump.

When a man in one of the groups started pumping gas into a gas can, a Kwik Shop employee intervened.

The employee allegedly grabbed the person’s arm or the pump handle (McKinley did not know which,) prompting the patron to push the worker away.

The patron was walking away from the pumps carrying his full gas can when he heard someone yell, “freeze,” the person told police. He then turned to see the employee allegedly pointing a handgun at him while telling him he was under arrest.

The man then told the employee to put the gun away and continued walking east toward a nearby apartment complex.

Officers responded to a call of a disturbance with weapons after the altercation. They interviewed numerous individuals and seized the firearm.

Police could not release any of the involved individuals’ names.

No arrests were made at the time, but the incident is under investigation and officers will send their findings to the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office, which will decide whether charges should be filed.

The Kasold Drive Kwik Shop's manager would not comment on the matter and directed the Journal-World to its corporate office, which is closed on Sundays.

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Suspected vodka thief flees police in a cornfield

The petty theft of a bottle of vodka led to a police pursuit and a suspect’s successful getaway into a cornfield Monday night, police say.

According to Sgt. Trent McKinley, Lawrence Police Department spokesman, it happened this way: Just before 9 p.m. Monday, officers responded to a report from On the Rocks Liquor, 1818 Massachusetts St., that a man had stolen a $60 bottle of Belvedere Red Vodka.

Employees gave a description and license number of the man’s getaway car, which was registered to someone living outside of Lawrence, McKinley said. Officers then went with Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies to find the suspected thief outside city limits.

At some point officers determined that they would not find the suspect, so they headed back toward Lawrence. On the drive back, an officer passed the vehicle they had been looking for just east of town in the 1600 block of North 1500 Road. The officer turned around to pursue the vehicle.

The officer found the car stopped in the roadway close to railroad tracks with the passenger-side door open and a female driver inside. McKinley said the suspected man had gotten out of the car and run into a cornfield, successfully fleeing police.

The stolen vodka was found in the vehicle partially consumed, McKinley said.

The driver, 21-year-old Cherlynn Nicole Rachel, of Lawrence, was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant, according to the Douglas County Jail’s booking log.

Though officers did not find the suspect, McKinley said he was identified and is a person who has four active warrants in Douglas County. McKinley could not release the suspect’s name as a theft suspect because he has not been arrested or charged in the case.