JoCo police departments creating online feedback forms in response to local group’s petition

The Advocacy and Awareness Group of Johnson County has been pushing local police departments to create more easily accessible online feedback forms for residents. Above, Lenexa Police responding to a highway wreck. File photo credit Mike Frizzell.

It may soon be easier for some Johnson County citizens to give feedback to their local police department. 

Following the release of a local civil rights group’s proposed 5-point plan for improving police transparency, the group’s leaders say some Johnson County police departments have begun establishing new online methods for residents to give their feedback, including filing complaints.   

Details: According to an update posted to Facebook by the Advocacy and Awareness Group of Johnson County, multiple local police departments are working to create online feedback forms since the group issued its call for greater transparency and accessibility in March. 

AAGJC did not name the local departments that have developed online methods of feedback, but the group did say which ones so far had not, including Gardner, Shawnee, Spring Hill and Lake Quivira. 

“We are highly concerned that the following municipalities have not yet complied … If you live in one of these cities, please call your city council members and your police department, and ask them to comply immediately,” the group wrote in its update.

A representative of AAGJC did not immediately respond to the Post’s request for comment for this story.

According to the AAGJC, such forms will more easily allow residents to offer compliments or complaints about their interactions with police officers. 

Such forms are often hard to find on police department websites or do not exist at all. 

Why it matters: AAGJC’s five-point plan formed earlier this year identified priorities for improving police operations and interactions with citizens in Johnson County.

Implementation of an online feedback form is the plan’s first priority step. 

Following successful development of an online feedback form, the plan’s next four priorities for the forms are as follows: 

  • a transparent explanation of the complaint process, including when residents can expect to hear back,
  • easy access (with less than three clicks) to reach the forms from the police department website home pages,
  • clear accommodation and translation options
  • and quick and easy process to complete (taking less than five minutes)

Since the initial launch of the petition, AAGJC set a goal of 500 signatures and had already reached 250 by the beginning of April.