Observer: Greg Wurst
The Riley County Law Board met at noon on Tuesday, February 20.
After two questions the consent agenda was approved unanimously.
There was a call for public comments and Aaron Wright, a former RCPD officer, read a statement calling for the new director to use total transparency, implying that the current director did not and played favorites. He urged the law board to pick an outsider as the next director. His comments were distributed to the board members.
Detective Brian Johnson, the Paternal Order of Police representative, stated that out of 57,000 calls for service there were only 11 complaints which he thought was very good. He also said the Order wants to participate in the selection of a new director.
Sergeant Wood reported on RCPD and drones. They currently have two on hand and many officers are certified commercial pilots, however, he would like to get FAA licensing for them so that they could be used in special cases, e.g. flying over KSU football games when airspace is closed. There is also a possibility of using Infrared cameras where heat generating bodies hidden from the naked eye could be discerned. RCPD is trying to take a conservative approach to utilizing these by comparing other police department policies and being very careful about privacy and safety.
Captain Zink reported about Fake Paddy’s Day preparations. RCPD will once again use the old park roundhouse building and the “skating rink” for processing and command center. Other agencies helping include KSU, Lawrence PD and Pottawatomie County PD.
RCPD presented three changes to the Salary Program. Modifications to the compensatory time policy to allow officers to be paid for compensatory time late in the year rather than only when they leave service was discussed. The idea is to save money by paying them at their current wage rather than when they leave when their wages may be higher. It was decided to try this for a year and see how it worked out. Education Incentive and Shift Differential increases which had been discussed at earlier meetings was approved.
The Law Board stated that they would get the best person for the new director. They said a consultant had been hired, but they were not “farming the job out” and they would guide the process and be totally transparent. The Board made up an outline of who should make up the committee to oversee the hiring and added a representative from KSU.
The board adjourned to executive session to discuss personnel issues.