Because of “lingering vacancies and unresolved questions,” the city’s first Community-Police Oversight Work Group meeting has been postponed, according to the city.
The work group is intended to review the process of how complaints about the Lawrence Police Department are currently handled, and assess an ordinance drafted by the Community Police Review Board that would expand its ability to review complaints.
Several members of both groups and the chief of police, Rich Lockhart, have shared concerns about how long the process to get the work group up and running has taken. Read the backstory in this article from Jan. 11.
Three members of the CPRB recently resigned, one of whom had been planning to serve as a member of the work group. During the CPRB’s most recent meeting, on Jan. 12, board members seemed to have come to an agreement that Stephanie Littleton, James Minor and Amilee Turner were going to serve on the CPOWG.
But a brief news release from the city on Friday said that questions remain about the CPRB’s representation in the work group, “which could interfere with the group’s ability to constructively initiate and engage in this work.”
A community member who had been appointed to the CPOWG by a Lawrence city commissioner also has resigned, and there was some confusion about how many members of LPD’s command staff would serve on the work group.
“The meeting will be rescheduled once the issues of representation are resolved and the list of Work Group members has been finalized by the respective parties outlined in the Project Charter,” according to the city’s release.
The meeting had been set for Monday, Jan. 30. There was no timeline provided in the city’s release for when the meeting will be rescheduled.
The city on Sept. 27 entered into a $20,000 contract with a consulting team led by Jonathan Morris to facilitate the new work group.