Lawrence’s Community Police Review Board meeting canceled; recent appointee resigns

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Lawrence’s Community Police Review Board will not meet Thursday as planned due to the lack of a quorum, the city announced. In addition, a new member appointed last month has resigned.

Susan Parker’s term was short, and the board did not meet between her appointment — approved by the Lawrence City Commission on Jan. 17 — and her resignation, effective Thursday morning, according to the city’s website.

“Regretfully, the situation has changed since I was appointed,” Parker said via email Thursday afternoon.

With Parker’s resignation, that leaves four active members of the CPRB. Three others resigned in December. The board is supposed to have seven members, so if even just one of the four members is unable to attend a meeting, the board does not have a quorum necessary to take action.

The cancellation will likely also have a domino effect and further delay the new Community-Police Oversight Work Group.

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 CPRB that would expand its ability to review complaints.

The CPOWG was set to have its first meeting on Jan. 30, but the city canceled that meeting, stating 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.”

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.

The CPRB typically meets at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month. During this month’s meeting, board members were set to hear about the Lawrence Police Department’s annual use of force report, among other agenda items. The next meeting is set for Thursday, March 9.

Applications to serve on the CPRB are open. Those who are interested can fill out an application by visiting this link and selecting “Apply.”

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Mackenzie Clark (she/her), reporter/founder of The Lawrence Times, can be reached at mclark (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

Related coverage: Lawrence Community Police Review Board


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