What’s your take on doing away with a professional Director of RCPD??
Posted: 17 March 2014 04:26 PM   [ Ignore ]
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In my opinion, RCPD does a remarkable job.  In today’s environment, it takes professionals to keep on step ahead of the criminal element in society.  We have that with Director Schoen. 

The Brownbackistan Legislature suddenly realized an entity might be non-political… non-biased.  Can’t have that.  We need to make the Director an elected position so money and politics can influence enforcement.  It’s bad enough when the Chamber owns both the City and County Commissions.  Now, they will be able to own RCPD. 

The “conservative” element says having the Director an elected position will be a step in solving the fiscal issue of RCPD’s budget.  Ummm… We currently have a Law Board that has no spine.  The Law Board authorized the RCPD budget.  And, they simply pass through the requests.  The Law Board is the entity that needs to be elected.  They are the ones that need held accountable to the voters.  The Director needs to be maintained as a professional, highly trained in the most current law enforcement technology.  To move this to a political position is a huge mistake.

For any of you who are watching, Brownbackistan is also attempting to turn the local School Board into a politically biased body.  The Legislature is wanting to have School Board elections the same time as national elections.  The State has a large majority of Republicans.  Evidently, they feel more of the Republicans will show up for the national elections and be there to vote in the “R” school board candidates.  Should the School Board be “R” vs. “D”?  Should the School Board be a political position, with the elected official “owing” the Party for their support?  Or, should the School Board remain independent of the national political agendas and independent of Brownbackistan’s influence?

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Posted: 20 March 2014 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Larry:  The issue on an Elected RCPD director has nothing to do with the Governor.  It is totally driven by a Topeka lobbyist hired by a few local citizens.  The paper has highlight Rusty Wilson as one of those local citizens.  The issued is billed as responsiveness to complaints.  In reality it may be centered on desires for less or more enforcement on selected venues.  I believe that introduction of legislation to change the current structure should not proceed until the County has a referendum on the ballot.  This citizens group cannot say it represents the County.  It is another of the many special interest groups that have special agendas to further.  A county ballot initiative would not change the Kansas Statute on RCPD.  But if the county voted to go back to elected top law enforcement officer, then I would think the legislature would honor that request and proceed with the legislation.  At present they should shelve the notion as it is not supported by a ballot referendum or a petition of voters.  The Law board voted 7-0 to send the senate a letter explaining the board’s opposition to the legislation.  I would like to see the County and City Commission take the same action.

I do believe that if complaints are the issue, then the Law Board needs to investigate.  The problem with the alleged complaints is that they have not been brought before the Board or presented to the Citizens Advisory Board.  During the past three years we have seen almost zero public comment at Law Board meetings.  One reason for that may be the noon meeting.  I tried to get that changed a year ago but could not get the 4 votes needed to change the meeting time to the PM hours – say 5:30 P.M.

I do not see any gain in changing the current structure.  An elected Director would be less responsive to the Law Board.  He would be immune to any pressure on the budget.  I think an elected Sheriff or Director is a bad idea, we might end up with “Boss Hogg” on the down side or maybe a Buford Pusser on the upside.  I would support a referendum on the issue, but it would need to include the following three points:

1.  The RCPD Director is elected.
2. The Law Board is elected.
3. The Law Board has mil levy authority.

This system would make RCPD function much like the School Board.  The Law Board would be a no pay elected position.  The Board would level a County wide mil levy to support RCPD.  The County and City would be removed from any budget obligation to RCPD.  The voters could then hold the Law Board and the elected Director responsible for the budget and any action of the police department. 

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Posted: 20 March 2014 02:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks, Wynn!!  Sounds like maybe the AV bars don’t want any police there during Faux St. Patty’s Day so they can escalate the drunkfest.  RCPD has put a hammer on those who seek to violate laws and ordinances for the cause of increasing bar revenues.  If we did go to an elected Chief Law Enforcement Officer, he could well assist in passing out beer in hopes the bar owners would vote him back into office.

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