Facilities, Personnel, and Equipment Needs

The Lawrence Police Department is posting the attached memoranda and documents regarding our recent budget requests that were part of the Lawrence City Commission’s 2013 budget process.  All of these documents were posted on the City of Lawrence’s homepage prior to recent budget discussions and can be found at www.lawrenceks.org/budget on the 2013 City Budget tab.

The needs identified through these documents fall into three main categories; Facilities, Personnel and Equipment.  The requests are a direct result of multiple year budgetary challenges created by reduced tax revenue and a slowing economic climate as well as the community's desire for increased police services.  Other needs are related to replacement of outdated / failing equipment and represent improvements required to keep our computer and technological infrastructure functioning.  The documentation provided here was in response to requests from City Management and the City Commission for information regarding where shortfalls existed throughout the department and where the Commission could identify their priorities.  Some duplication of information is contained therein based upon the specific request.  

FACILITY NEEDS

In the fall of 2011, the Lawrence City Commission authorized the expenditure of $38,000 to seek Requests for Proposals for a Facility Needs Assessment.  Presentations were heard from five qualified firms, with the assessment being awarded to Wilson-Estes Police Architects from Kansas City and Treanor Architects of Lawrence.  Their final report, dated May 1, 2012, is included here.  It provides the most comprehensive assessment of the spaces the department currently occupies and evaluates the most cost efficient options for construction of a new facility for all police department personnel, infrastructure, functions and requirements unique to law enforcement.

PERSONNEL NEEDS

Similar issues also affect our ability to provide adequate staffing resources throughout the department, with the most immediate need centering on patrol responsibilities.  Many factors effect patrol staffing including attrition, separations, retirements, promotions, reassignments, vacation and sick days, officer injuries, court appearances and special event assignments.  A quick overview of our staffing levels and additions to our sworn personnel over the past 22 years is included here:

Over the years, the department has taken steps to redirect personnel and realign traditional patrol scheduling with limited success.  One aspect to this has been our efforts to hire / train civilian employees to replace sworn personnel where possible.  A review of the civilian positions and possible expansion opportunities were outlined in March, 2011.

EQUIPMENT NEEDS

Much like facilities and personnel, our requests for equipment are also in direct relation to reduced funding and affect the entire organization.  Our documentation outlines were the most critical needs exist.   

The Lawrence Police Department is facing some complicated and far-reaching decisions about all the services we provide.  We of course have and will continue to provide the best, most timely and professional response you have depended upon for decades based upon available resources.  It is a case of balancing pro-active law enforcement with available personnel, responding to 911 calls and other immediate incidents in the community, providing an active presence to detect and deter crime and being available to assist all citizens with a variety of additional assistance.