CityGate Associates, LLC – the consultant group hired by the City to lead an outside, neutral and comprehensive study of the Lawrence Kansas Police Department – has created an online resource for sharing upcoming community engagement opportunities related to the study: citygateassociates.com/safe-and-secure-Lawrence The website will provide periodic status updates and information about the project and will include information on how the community can become involved. Community members will have multiple opportunities to provide input for the study.
There are currently two community engagement opportunities scheduled, with more anticipated. General public listening sessions open to all community members will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27, and from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 4. The listening sessions will be held via Zoom. Registration information for the Zoom meetings will be made available on the project website prior to the events.
In addition to the upcoming community engagement opportunities, community members can also provide feedback via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving a voicemail at (785) 832-7505. Emails will go directly to the Citygate Associates Police Study Project Team. Information received will be used anonymously in the aggregated reporting, and individual comments and sender information will not be publicly disclosed.
The City Commission authorized the City’s agreement with Citygate Associates in October 2020. The study, which includes technical review in addition to extensive community engagement, will culminate in a department master plan to guide its responsiveness to the City’s Strategic Plan, specifically the Safe and Secure Outcome.
In the first three months of the project, Citygate Associates have undertaken a number of tasks, including the following:
- Received and began review of numerous reports with bearing on the project (e.g. Community Health Plan and the City’s Strategic Plan)
- Attended the November Criminal Justice Coordinating Council meeting and conducted initial engagement with that group
- Conducted interviews with City Commissioners, City of Lawrence leadership, Community Police Review Board members, Lawrence Police Department leadership and the University of Kansas Public Safety Office
- Worked with City staff on initial data and document request including more than 40 data metrics
- Collaborated on the development of the community engagement plan, including the evaluation of several alternative engagement strategies
- Explored options nationally for an additional consultant team member with subject matter expertise in non-law enforcement/alternative service delivery issues, resulting in the onboarding of Dr. Laura Brown to the Citygate Associates team