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Topeka Police Chief plans to take action on community concerns on police policy

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 6:27 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Nation-wide protests following several police-involved deaths of black people have raised concerns over law enforcement policies.

Topeka Police Chief Bill Cochran has taken part in a few local demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, Prayer at the Capital, along with walking in the Unity in the Community demonstration.

Chief Cochran says he has heard the community’s concerns and he plans to take action.

“Here within the last six weeks a lot of that has become very clouded and what are the expectations of the police,” Topeka Police Chief Bill Cochran said.

Chief Cochran says nation-wide protests are shining a light on police policy.

“Just overall reform as a whole, I think this time around there seems to be more focused attention and more drive and effort to really try to make reform take place.”

He says community members have shared concerns with him, “the things were hearing locally are really things were hearing on the nationally level - choke holds, no knock warrants, overall use of force.”

The Topeka Police Department regularly updates its policies.

“When you look at the Topeka Police Department we have very modern policy, we have steady of the arc policy. Every policy gets reviewed at least every two years,” Chief Cochran explained.

“Training has definitely evolved hear at the Topeka Police Department, we constantly review our policies, we constantly are trying to update them and we make sure we have the best policy available,” he added.

Mayor Michelle De La Isla says the city has been working together to improve change, “and one of the things that city manager and chief and I is about taking a look at what are the other things that we can just make policy as well that we are already doing that are going to then remain whether Chief or not.”

Topeka Police Department has its policies posted online.

Chief Cochran also will be making a presentation to the city council about the issues he heard at their meeting next Tuesday.

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