TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Topeka Police Department is unveiling a new community relations initiative.
TPD is partnering with Strategic Leadership Academy, a community leadership program, to create a “steering committee” in Topeka.
The steering committee will be made up of law enforcement officials, city leaders and a variety of everyday Topekans. Police Chief Bill Cochran says he wants this to be a place for tough conversations.
“People don’t like to have tough conversations,” Cochran said. “They don’t like where they end up going a lot of times. If we have something like this in place, when it’s time to sit down and have those tough conversations, the hopes are that we will be able to get to a positive result.”
The steering committee will not have any governing power; however, Cochran hopes that the body will be respected enough that people will listen to their suggestions. He said part of that respect will come from diversity.
“It is hoped that we will get the various perspectives as relates to police community relations because they are very different,” said Cain Davis, president of Strategic Leadership Academy. “Even two neighborhoods right next to each other have very unique differences when it comes to police community relations.”
Davis says they are looking for people from both sides of the policing issues. This includes victims and families of victims of crime as well as victims and families of victims of law enforcement misconduct.
Davis says they are recruiting people now to join the committee. He says they hope to have the committee filled and meeting regularly within the next few months. If you are interested in joining the committee, reach out Cain Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.