Visioning and Progress
Task Force on Community-Responsive Public Safety
A. Responses to Behavioral Health Crises
Recommendation A.1. Better identify, understand, and respond to a person who may be developing or experiencing a mental health concern or crisis.
KU Student Housing provides Mental Health First Aid training for all housing staff. This allows their staff to better identify a person in crisis and then communicate the situation to the KU Police Department officers who respond to those calls for service. Officers are also trained in Mental Health First Aid and Crisis Intervention so that they are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to identify and assist individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis. CIT training includes live scenarios to give officers experience in utilizing the skills learned in the classroom segments. The training cycles for both KU Student Housing and the KU Police Department are on-going as new staff are hired. This recommendation has been successfully completed.
- KU Student Housing provides Mental Health First Aid training for all staff.
- The KU Police Department provides Mental Health First Aid and Crisis Intervention training for all officers.
- These trainings are offered regularly to new staff.
Recommendation A.2. Increase response and involvement of health professionals (and reduce the involvement of public safety officers) regarding students experiencing a behavioral mental health concern or crisis.
A Mobile Access Team headed by Edie Harrison of the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center has been established to respond to crisis within the Douglas County community. Currently, their availability is limited to 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, Monday through Friday. KU Police Emergency Communications has their contact number on-hand, in case it is needed. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline was implemented nation-wide on July 1, 2022 and operates through a partnership with the Kansas Suicide Prevention Headquarters. The KU Police Department supported their awareness campaign through on our social media platforms, and our administrators have toured their facility. As these two resources are further developed, they could reduce the reliance upon law enforcement in certain instances of behavioral mental health crisis. Additionally, Deputy Chief James Druen, the current chair of the Douglas County CIT Counsel, is exploring the potential for community partners to attend Crisis Intervention Training. This would provide that skillset to staff outside of law enforcement and further reduce the involvement of officers when their response is not needed due to safety concerns.
- A Mobile Access Team was established to respond to crisis in the community.
- The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline was implemented on July 1, 2022
- D.C. Druen is exploring the potential for extending CIT training to community partners.
Recommendation A.3. Integrate KU within Douglas County system of mental health care.
As mentioned above, a Mobile Access Team has been implemented in a partnership with Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center. Though their hours are currently limited, they can respond to crises on campus as well as the wider Douglas County community. To insure better access to crucial on-going treatment at Bert Nash, the KU Police Department provides community members with non-emergency transportation to mental health services upon request. A Douglas County mental health crisis center is expected to open in the near future. Chief Nelson Mosley has toured the facility, and officers will be trained in the facility’s procedures upon its opening. Deputy Chief James Druen is the current chair of the Douglas County CIT Counsel. Sergeant Damon Tucker also serves as a member of the Counsel. Officer Bryce Ridgway is a member of the Douglas County Suicide Prevention Coalition which recently merged with Engage Douglas County to create a new suicide prevention subcommittee. This integrates suicide prevention into the larger health and wellness missions within Douglas County in response to needs identified in the 2019 Douglas County, Kansas Community Health Plan. Detective Jack Campbell participated in two KU Staff Fellows cohorts that examined the mental health needs of faculty and staff at KU. Those cohorts made proposals to create new on-campus resources as well as to provide better access to existing community services. These partnerships ensure that mental health response on campus is integrated into the larger system of support and care within the Douglas County community and that KU Police staff are aware of new resources as they become available.
- A Mobile Access Team has been implemented that can respond to on-campus events.
- KU Police provide non-emergency transportation for students to off-campus mental health services.
- The Douglas County mental health crisis center is expected to open in the near future.
- Two officers hold positions on the Douglas County CIT Counsel.
- An officer participates in the suicide prevention subcommittee of Engage Douglas County.
- An officer participated in Staff Fellows projects related to the mental health of KU employees.
Recommendation A.4. Assessment of Public Safety staffing, including steps to reduce officer stress and fatigue.
Five officers have been hired since May 17, 2021, however it is imperative that the University of Kansas hire additional police personnel in order to alleviate the stress and fatigue caused by required overtime. A recruitment committee has been formed within the KU Police Department and is developing tools and tactics to generate more applicants from a more diverse talent pool. Officer Ridge Bunde was named the department’s first Interim Sergeant, which allows him to provide supervisory coverage during long-term absences, as well as gain valuable leadership experience. The “team policing” concept was implemented in August. This allows individual officers to report to the same supervisor a majority of the time, which creates more familiarity with performance and stress levels. Detective Jack Campbell was named the coordinator of the KU Police Department peer support program and has attended specialized training in providing support services to first responders. He participates in countywide peer support training and attends additional training through KLETC and other providers. This academic year, he will be certified by KLETC in Health and Wellness in Public Safety having completed a series of classes including resiliency, spirituality, finance, and fitness. Six additional employees have been recruited into the KU Police Department peer support program and will attend the 40-hour basic training program as seats become available. Other officers been offered training in a variety of areas related towards health and wellness. Deputy Chief James Druen, Officer Kendell Freeman, and Administrative Assistant Sandy Patchen have formed an internal Morale, Welfare, and Recreation team. Sergeant Michael Bridges conducted an employee satisfaction survey. These will allow us to work to strengthen and sustain morale within the department. The steps taken towards this recommendation should have a positive impact on employee stress and employee retention. They have been made in accordance with the Jayhawks Rising strategic alignment model to increase workplace satisfaction and encourage staff leadership development.
- Five officers have been hired since 5/17/2021.
- A recruitment committee had been formed.
- An Interim Sergeant was promoted to provide supervisory coverage during long-term absences.
- Team policing was implemented in August.
- A peer support coordinator has been named and will be certified by KLETC.
- Six additional peer support officers have been selected and will receive training.
- Additional wellness training has been offered to all law enforcement personnel.
- A Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Tem has been formed.
- An employee satisfaction survey has been completed.
B. Officer Conduct Issues
Recommendation B.1. Fully adopt the policies, training, and supervisory procedures regarding procedural justice and de-escalation outlined in the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and the PERF Guiding Principles on Use of Force, and publicize these policies to the community.
The KU Police Department has updated the departmental policy manual to emphasize procedural justice and proactive de-escalation when interacting with the public. The tenants of procedural justice were clearly delineated in section D.1.1 of the old policy manual and will be included in section 515 of the new policy manual. Professional Standards and Use of Force policies have been published to the departmental website. De-escalation and procedural justice have been incorporated into in-house training. All law enforcement personnel attended a two-day training module provided by the National De-escalation Training Center during the week of June 6, 2022. This training included scenario-based exercises to practice skills learned within the classroom. Detective Jack Campbell and Sergeant Michael Bridges are certified instructors in PERF’s Critical Decision Making Model through the Integrating Assessment, Communication, and Tactics program. This training provides officers with skills and tools in alignment with the PERF Guiding Principles and includes scenario-based training. They have begun providing this training to others at KUPD. This combination of policy and practice gives officers the skills and experience needed to operate in a procedurally just manner and de-escalate situations appropriately. This recommendation has been successfully completed.
- The departmental manual has been updated to emphasize procedural justice and de-escalation.
- Use of Force and Professional Standards policies have been published to the departmental website.
- Officers attended a two-day training with the National De-escalation Training Center.
- De-escalation has been incorporated into in-house training programs.
- Two police officers are instructors in PERF’s Critical Decision Making Model.
Recommendation B.2. Publicize department policy on use of force and procedures for investigating and evaluating instances of use of force.
The departmental website now details policies related to Use of Force, Professional Standards, Complaint Investigation, and Racial or Other Biased-Based Policing. Additionally, summaries of departmental uses of force are added to the departmental website after they occur. Departmental personnel will regularly evaluate these policies for any needed changes and modified policies will be published on the departmental website. This will allow the department’s policies to reflect the needs of modern policing and provide transparency to the community we serve. This recommendation has been successfully completed.
- Policies on Complaint Investigation and Use of Force have been published to the departmental website.
- Use of force summaries are added to the departmental website after occurrence.
Recommendation B.3. Continue initiative to gather data on the race and ethnicity of persons stopped by KU officers.
The initial stop data study commissioned by the Douglas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council concluded at the end of 2021. Their report is currently in draft form, but it has been provided to our agency for review. We are currently evaluating that data. Deputy Chief John Dietz attended a town hall meeting at the Lawrence Public Library on August 10, 2022 to answer questions from the public regarding our involvement in the study. The KU Police Department has committed to continuing the collection of data on all stops made by our officers for future studies. We will analyze that data for any trends that need to be addressed within our agency. In addition to collecting the forms used by the study, our updated Digital Ally camera system has the capability to attach demographic information to videos. These tools will allow our supervisors to have access to more immediate data related to whom their officers are stopping and why. This information allows for early identification and intervention if issues are discovered. This recommendation has been successfully completed.
- We will continue to be involved with Douglas County study on stop data.
- Demographic data can now be entered into the Digital Ally camera system.
Recommendation B.4. Conduct a thorough review of the KUPSO Use of Force Policy and revise it to bring it into consistency with the principles outlined above and recommendations from the Department of Justice and other authorities.
The KU Police Department Use of Force policy has been revised to reflect the National Consensus Policy on the Use of Force. Additionally, on January 31, 2021, our department received a letter from the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators that certified compliance with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Standards for Certification on Use of Force and Safe Policing for Communities. This certification is valid for three years. All officers received updated training on these policies. All future training will be conducted in accordance with updated policies regarding use of force, de-escalation, and procedural justice. This recommendation has been completed.
- The Use of Force policy has been reviewed and updated to reflect the National Consensus Policy on Use of Force.
- On 01/31/2021, we received a letter from IACLEA certifying compliance with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Standards for Certification on Use of Force and Safe Policing for Communities. This certification is valid for 3 years.
- This policy has been implemented through in-house training.
Recommendation B.5. Publicize department policies related to use of force and officer conduct toward members of the public.
As mentioned previously, the KU Police Department website has been updated to publicize departmental policies related to Use of Force, Complaint Investigation, Professional Standards, and Racial or Other Bias-Based Policing. Additionally, uses of force are summarized on the departmental website after they occur. This recommendation has been completed.
- Our website has been updated with departmental policies.
- Use of force summaries are published to the departmental website after occurrence.
C. Advisory and Oversight Processes
Recommendation C.1. Create a police oversight board.
Internally, the KU Police Department has discussed how we would like to see this group structured. We have also discussed the concepts of oversight versus advisory in terms of the group’s function. Additionally, we have discussed procedures related to the sharing of information. We are prepared to work with the group once it is created.
- Internal discussions related to this group have occurred.
Recommendation C.2. Develop a distributed complaint receiving process.
The KU Police Department has worked to insure that there are multiple methods available to those who want to make complaints or offer compliments to our agency. In addition to providing a prominent link on our website, a complaint box has been installed in front of our satellite office at the Kansas Memorial Union. This box is regularly checked by Sergeant Michael Bridges. Additionally, a link specifically for complaints related to the KU Police Department has been included on the University of Kansas Ombuds Office website. We also accept walk-in or phone complaints at our office. This recommendation has been completed.
- We have installed a complaint box at the Kansas Memorial Union and check it regularly.
- Online submission is available on our departmental website.
- A link for online complaint submission has been added to the KU Ombuds Office website.
- Walk-in and phone complaints are accepted.
Recommendation C.3. Appoint and train several officers as liaisons to groups in the KU community.
The KU Police Department has identified several officers who want to participate in this initiative. Deputy Chief John Dietz has had ongoing meetings with the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging who is heading the program. A survey, managed by Sergeant Michael Bridges and sent through DEIB, has been distributed to campus partners and is currently receiving responses. Detective Jack Campbell and Sergeant Jennifer Beard will be working with the Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity’s Advisory and Action Group to strengthen the connection and relationship with the KU Police. Their first meeting is on August 29, 2022. Additionally, officers have become involved in a number of other on-campus groups. Detective Jack Campbell will be teaching a section of SAPEC’s Leadership Studies 301 class this Fall. The gender-based violence prevention course is open to all students and is required for those involved in KU Athletics and Greek life. Detective Campbell will also assist SAPEC with a Crime Prevention through Environmental Design walkthrough of Phi Kappa Psi on September 12, 2022. Sergeant Robert Blevins, Detective Todd Carpenter, and Officer Kendell Freeman were trained as facilitators for the Jayhawks Give a Flock bystander intervention program. Detective Jack Campbell and Officer Bryce Ridgway have recently been involved in KU Staff Fellows. Sergeant Michael Bridges, Sergeant Zeke Cunningham, and Officer Kendell Freeman have contacted various faith-based communities around campus in order to build relationships through the Faith and Blue program. As a result, several officers attended the Meat and Greet at the St. Lawrence Catholic Center on August 21, 2022. Detective Jack Campbell and Officer Kendell Freeman attended and presented at Velocity Church’s Youth Kick-Off event on September 7, 2022. Sergeant Jennifer Beard, Sergeant Robert Blevins, and Sergeant Michael Bridges joined a working group that collaborates with KU Student Housing. Sergeant Michael Bridges recently volunteered to assist with Housing Move-In while off-duty. These activities allow our officers to contact a wide variety of campus partners in a non-enforcement capacity and to build relationships with those partners in support of the Jayhawks Rising strategic alignment model.
- We identified officers who wanted to be liaisons to the KU community.
- We established on-going contact with the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging.
- We distributed a survey to campus partners in partnership with DEIB.
- Officers joined the Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity’s Advisory and Action Group.
- Officers have partnered with SAPEC as teachers and facilitators.
- We contacted campus faith-based groups as part of Faith and Blue program.
- We formed a working group to collaborate with KU Student Housing.
KUPSO Strategic Plan 2022-2026
1. Strengthen and evolve our culture of community policy.
- Establish liaison officers with specific minority groups (DEIB)
- Establish Lawrence Communities
- Meeting with Multicultural Resource Center
- Create group to consult with KU Housing Department on concerns/issues.
- Re-establish pre-pandemic programs
- Create Citizens Acadmey
- Survey the community we serve
2. Develope a retention plan to provide employees with upward mobility, competitive pay and a healthy workplace culture.
- Form a team (MWR - Morale Welfare nad Recreation) - team local
- Compile data on why people leave
- exit interivew
- employee satisfaction survey
- external survey of retention practices - LPD, DGSO, LDCFM
- Team building opportunities - physical wellness
- Torch Run
3. Develop and execute a recruitment plant to attract qualified and diverse candidates who reflect the community we serve.
- From a recruitment committee
- Create new recruitment posters (ECS, PO, SO)
- taken some test photos. Will be taking photos during better lighting conditions to create recruitment posters.
- Wording on flyes is in infancy stage. Will need to be edited.
- Recruit local colleges and high schools
- Recruit via social media
- Posted ECC on social media
- Taken phootos, but need to be in better lighting
- get more officers involved
- drafted wording for the posts/images
- Job Site posting - Handshake, Virtual Job Fair
- virtual job fairs have been identified and attended. Scheduled for the future as well.
- Alternative job posting sites with more of a direct audience have been researched.
- Targeted advertising and the use of job sites to proactively target candidates that have relevant skillsets have been researched.
- Joined "Handshake"
- Dispatch and Police Officer positions posted to Handshake
4. Create a department structurre that enhances effective and efficient community service.
- Develop a proposal for restructuring nad rebranding the department.
- Survey the community we serve
5. Invest in technologies that enahnce a safe and secure environment for KUPSO personnel and the university community.
- Form a technology committee
- survey technology needs
- improved first responder mobile network -Cradlepoint / Firstnet
- Data and Application Server Upgrades
- Papervision / Document management upgrades
- Visitor managment system / employee tracking
- Workstation and peripheral upgrade planning
- Intellicomm - APCO Dispatch call taking managmenet software
- survey technology needs
- Benchmark institutions
- Mass notification systems at KUMC and KSU
- Identify grants / partnerships
- Requested assistance in locating