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.
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 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. Compliments can be made in person, by mail or by contacting the Office of Professional Accountability at 785-832-7551. You may also advise the employee’s Shift Supervisor.
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.
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, fill out this form or pdf-fillable. 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 Call?
Citizens may call the Office of Professional Accountability whose responsibility it is to investigate your complaint. Inquiries and complaints are also taken by appointment at other locations of convenience to the citizen. The telephone numbers and contacts are:
Office of Professional Accountability
Citizens may also submit complaints to the Community Police Review Board (CPRB). The CPRB contact information can be found here. Complaints submitted to the CPRB will be forwarded to the police department for investigation.
Complaints of Racial or Other Biased-Based Policing
The Lawrence Police Department does not tolerate racial or biased-based policing.
- It shall be unlawful for any Lawrence Police Officer to engage in racial profiling or biased-based policing.
- Racial or other bias-based policing is defined as: an inappropriate reliance on actual or perceived characteristics such as race, color, age, ancestry, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, economic status, cultural group, religion or affiliation with any noncriminal group (protected characteristics) as the basis for providing differing law enforcement service or enforcement. It is not considered racial or other biased-based policing when race, color, age, ancestry, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, economic status, cultural group, or religion is used in combination with other identifying factors as part of a specific individual description to initiate an enforcement action.
- Members of the department will comply with K.S.A. 22-4610
- Racial or Other Biased-Based Policing Policy
- 2021 Racial or Other Biased-Based Policing Annual Report
Any person who believes they have been subjected to racial or other biased-based policing may file a complaint with the attorney general’s office and/or with the department.
Complaints can be submitted to the Office of the Attorney General by clicking on this link.
Complaints can be submitted to the Office of Professional Accountability by:
- US Mail. Complete and mail this form to The Office of Professional Accountability at 4820 Bob Billings Parkway, Lawrence, KS, 66049
- Phone at 785-832-7551
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- In person at Police Headquarters, 5100 Overland Drive, Lawrence, KS 66049.
Complaints can be submitted to the Community Police Review Board by contacting one of the members listed here.
Appeal Request: If you are unsatisfied with the police department’s findings on your bias-based policing complaint, you may appeal the findings to the Board, in writing, within 14 days of receipt of the department’s findings.
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.
At the completion of the investigation of your complaint, a conclusion will be made based upon the findings of the inquiry. Your complaint will then be categorized as:
|Sustained||The complaint is determined to be factual.|
|Exonerated||The officer(s) did not commit the offense as stated.|
|Unfounded||The allegation is false or not factual.|
|Not Sustained||Not enough evidence to prove or disprove the allegations was found.|
|Dismissed||The complainant withdrew the complaint or failed to cooperate with the investigation.|
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.