Compliments and Complaints

 

The Lawrence Police Department prides itself on being a professional, nationally recognized law enforcement agency. We expect high standards of ethical conduct from each of our department members. Occasionally, questions are raised concerning a citizen's encounter with a police officer. The department is interested in investigating those instances where inappropriate conduct may have occurred.

All members of the Lawrence Police Department recognize that we are accountable to the public. We encourage questions about the law enforcement process and questions concerning law enforcement behavior. I hope you found your interaction with Lawrence Police Department to be professional.  I have included information in our web site to assist you if you believe a department member provided exceptional service,  made a mistake or violated policy, or even to answer questions you may have about police service.

Compliments         Compliments Form

Everyone enjoys receiving recognition for their efforts and there is no question that most of the employees of the Lawrence Police Department are doing an outstanding job in our city.  We realize that many of our residents and visitors to Lawrence would like to know how to compliment our employees on a job well done.

Compliments, either by following the link above or written, are one of the best ways to let our employees know that you appreciate their good work and extraordinary customer service.  A compliment for an employee is most often sent to the Chief of Police.  You may also advise the employee's Shift Supervisor.  Your compliments can also be made in person, by phone or through a letter or informal note to the Lawrence Police Department.

A compliment may address any event in that you feel demonstrates any effort on the part of the employee that deserves special recognition.  This may include such acts as: unusual courtesy or compassion, significant life saving measures, or other extraordinary acts.  All compliments are formally documented and the affected employees and their supervisors will be notified.

 

Complaints     Complaint Form

Most citizens have limited contact with members of the Lawrence Police Department. It is normal that you may have questions concerning how or why a particular incident was handled in the manner it was. On most occasions, the officer's actions are dictated by state law, departmental policies, procedures, or guidelines. We are pleased to have the opportunity to explain to you the reasons for our behavior.  If you need to submit a complaint about a specific incident, please fill out this form. Complaints or allegations of misconduct occur if an officer is accused of deviating from departmental policies, procedures, or guidelines.

In order to provide a complete report, citizens are encouraged to make their questions about police conduct as soon as possible after the encounter. The department will make a written record of your question or complaint, and the circumstances surrounding the event will be investigated at the earliest possible opportunity.

Complaints that involve ongoing criminal or traffic court proceedings will be investigated when the proceedings have concluded. The innocence or guilt of the defendant will have no influence on the complaint process.

What is My Next Step?

Citizens may also make complaints or questions by letter or in person at any time. A complaint form may be printed off by clicking on a link located on this page. Individuals may contact the Office of Professional Accountabilty during regular business hours.  During other hours, inquiries or complaints are handled by contacting (785) 832-7509 and asking for the "On-duty Shift Supervisor".

Who Can I Contact?

Office of the Chief of Police
Interim Chief Anthony Brixius
(785) 830-7400

To file a Racial or Bias Based Policing Complaint with the Office of the Attorney General or to view annual Racial or Bias Based Policing Reports use the following link:

https://ag.ks.gov/public-safety/racial-and-bias-based-policing

The Investigation

Complaints against officers are divided into two categories: non-criminal conduct and criminal conduct. Each of these complaints is investigated in a different way.

The Office of Professional Accountability is normally responsible for investigating non-criminal complaints of officer conduct.

Complaints involving allegations of criminal conduct will be investigated by the Investigations Division or, depending upon the circumstances, investigators or outside agencies chosen by the Chief of Police.

Findings

Sustained - The greater weight of the evidence establishes that the complaint is valid and that the employee violated department policy and/or law.

Not Sustained - Insufficient evidence to either prove or disprove the allegation(s).

Exonerated - Incident occurred but was lawful/within policy.

Unfounded - The allegation is false or not factual or the employee was not involved.

Dismissed - The  complainant  withdrew  the  complaint  or  failed  to cooperate with the investigation.

Commended - The   investigation   revealed   that   the   involved employee did not do anything wrong and the employee’s action is instead worthy of commendation.

Training  Issue - During  the  course  of  the  investigation,  it  is determined   that   the   involved   Department   members   were   not sufficiently trained to handle the situation.

Policy  Deficiency - During  the  course  of  the  investigation,  it is discovered that Department policies are in need of revision in order to  provide  Department  members  with  direction.    Employee  was acting within policy that resulted in unfair or inappropriate treatment of a citizen.

If your complaint is sustained, the Chief of Police will initiate the proper disciplinary action consistent with the policies of the City of Lawrence and the Lawrence Police Department. Personnel rules governing confidentiality prohibit revealing disciplinary actions taken against officers. However, you will be sent a letter stating the final disposition and resolution of your complaint.