Roeland Park adopts ad hoc committee, professional services for police policy review

The Roeland Park City Council on Monday evening took further steps to conduct a review of police policies. The council approved an Ad Hoc committee and an agreement with Lexipol, which provides public safety policy and training solutions for law enforcement and first responders.

The public safety policy service will guide the committee through its review process and update the department’s current policies, according to city documents. Police Chief John Morris said Lexipol comes highly recommended, although there are negative and positive reviews of the professional service.

“This is a tool that can help guide us, hopefully, in a positive manner,” Police Chief John Morris said. “If [Lexipol’s potential suggestion is] something that is not desired by the police department or ad hoc committee, we won’t use it.”

Other northeast Johnson County cities such as Overland Park use Lexipol, which caused concern for Councilmember Michael Rebne. Rebne said his reservations about the service stem from the use of force issues he’s seen in Overland Park.

While organizations hire a professional service for reviews, Councilmember Tom Madigan said organizations can choose to not follow the professional guidance. Madigan said the professional service cannot be blamed for those not following guidance, and Roeland Park cannot be compared to Overland Park.

Ward 1 Councilmember Tom Madigan said comparing Overland Park and Roeland Park isn’t productive. File photo.

“Comparing us to Overland Park is another case of a small city of 6,000 comparing themselves to a very large city,” Madigan said. “I’m not sure that’s productive. Do I hate police brutality? Yes, I hate brutality in any form.”

The basic Lexipol services cost more than $5,000, and the ad hoc committee guidance is more than $15,000. After a 20% discount and use of Midwest Public Risk insurance pool credits, the city will come a little more than $12,000 out of pocket, according to city documents.

The city council unanimously approved the adoption of the ad hoc committee, as well as the Lexipol agreement for review and training services.