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George Mason researchers present findings to RCPD law board

George Mason researchers present findings to RCPD law board; Corrections Sergeant promoted; first female FOP president announced.
Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 6:42 PM CST
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - Promoting a corrections department Sergeant, announcing the first female FOP president for the department and a presentation by George Mason University rounded out the Riley County Law Board meeting.

The Riley County Police Department put a special focus on hot spots for crime - launching the Laser Point program in 2013.

“The importance for police is that by focusing on these areas you have the potential to reduce crime through very targeted, very precise efforts.” George Mason University Professor, Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, Christopher Koper says.

George Mason University studied RCPD’s approach. Their research shows fewer crime and disorder calls since the start of the program.

“It shows that by focusing on and properly managing your high-risk locations, you can get crime reduction benefits that extend throughout the jurisdiction.” Koper says.

The Laser Point program involved small changes to the patrol routine, with no added cost or resources.

“Really credit to the guys on the street that believe in it and do it, because they think it’s right and see the results as well.” Riley County Police Department, Assistant Director Kurt Moldrup says.

Monday’s Riley Co. Law Board Meeting not only celebrated the success of Laser Point - it also honored staff. Ten-year Riley Co. Corrections Department veteran Michaela Harris moved up the ranks from sergeant to lieutenant.

“I endeavor to do a professional job and well…a good job with my agency and my department. I love corrections, I love what I do. It’s…there’s pride in the badge and I never want to dishonor that.” Riley County Police Department, Corrections Department, Lt. Michaela Harris says.

Lieutenant Harris' badge was pinned on by her mother, Olivia Howard Harris and retired RCPD Corrections Lieutenant Diahann Frazier pinned her bars to her lapel.

Also, Detective Bryan Johnson announced Officer Rachel Pate will replace him as Riley County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge president after 7 years. She’ll be the first woman to lead the local FOP.

“Whatever charitable event we have, she’s been involved in and I’m very much appreciative of that and I’m excited to see what she’ll do as the F.O.P. moves forward.” Riley County Police Department, Det. Bryan Johnson says.

George Mason researchers have written a paper of their findings of the RCPD Hot Spot Policing and have submitted it for publishing in a national police journal but are still awaiting final approval from the publication.

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