Topeka City Council discuss police policy with Chief Cochran

Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 10:32 PM CDT
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Amid a nationwide discussion on racial injustice, Topeka's city council zeroed in on police policy on Tuesday night.

Topeka Police Chief Bill Cochran and Independent Police Auditor Ed Callazo joined the council to answer their questions about the department's policy and procedures.

“Tonight was an opportunity to look at our use of force policies and not just the policies but how we review those policies,” said City Council member Spencer Duncan.

Independent Police Auditor Ed Callazo said to date he has reviewed a total of 104 internal reports from TPD officers on use of force since he started the job in October... he said 36 of those fell into one or more category, such as use of weapon or physical force. He reviewed each one and each time, determined the use of force was appropriate and in accordance with the Topeka Police Department’s policy.

The council followed up with several questions for Chief Cochran regarding the use of force, body-cams, and the early awareness intervention program.

“I think we should be proud of our police department they have already enacted a lot of policies that are being talked about nationally so that a positive I think the things we need to strengthen is moving those policies into law and we need to strengthen up how we are reporting through our independent auditor”

City Council member Spencer Duncan wants to ensure good policies continue with future administrations.

“I’m putting forth a no knock warrant policy so that sort of started this conversation of looking over all of our use of force policies and so I hope that lads to some good long conversations about where we can make some real changes.”

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