Fair and Impartial Policing Working Group

The Riley County Police Department (RCPD) and the Manhattan-Riley County Coalition for Equal Justice (CEJ) have united to establish the Fair and Impartial Policing (FIP) Working Group. The objective of the FIP Working Group is to maintain a collaborative and mutually respectful relationship between RCPD and CEJ in an effort to implement positive changes within RCPD. The group will submit recommendations to the Director of the RCPD concerning the advancement of fair and impartial policing practices for which the group is named.

An initial set of recommendations were submitted to the Director in June 2021 and can be found here (PDF). The FIP Working Group anticipates this will be the first in a series of quarterly recommendations forwarded to the Director. The group’s meetings address a variety of questions, topics and community concerns about policing. The conversations are framed around the work of Dr. Lorie Fridell, a national leader in the field of human bias, measurement and reporting of policing activities, and their application to the function of law enforcement organizations. 

When RCPD began searching for a community partner to form a FIP working group, CEJ was an obvious choice. For CEJ, the response to the invitation to collaborate was a resounding “yes”. Both parties committed to meet in early 2020, but the initial meeting was delayed until July 2020 due to concerns about COVID-19. The group has continued to meet monthly to discuss change and growth within RCPD.

The group consists of four representatives from CEJ, four officers from RCPD, and Dr. Be Stoney from the RCPD Law Board, who acts as the moderator. The representatives from CEJ include Dr. Lorenza Lockett, Dr. Alayna Colburn, Myesha Williams and Maureen Sheahan. Members from RCPD include Captain Josh Kyle, Sergeant Patrick Tiede, Detective Calvin Sanders and Officer Tyrone Townsend.

CEJ’s interest in fair and impartial policing grew out of Dr. John Exdell’s research regarding racial disparities in arrest rates for marijuana in Riley County. The aim of CEJ is to work toward eliminating racial disparities in all aspects of law enforcement in Riley County. 

RCPD’s ongoing work towards fair and impartial policing is grounded in the work of Dr. Lorie Fridell, whose presentation to RCPD staff and community members in September 2015 led to the collaborative creation of RCPD’s current Racial and Other Non-Bias Based Policing Policy. The course also began RCPD’s journey into developing and delivering a comprehensive program to produce FIP.

The FIP Working Group will continue to meet and make recommendations to the Director of the RCPD. The group also invites individuals to direct questions, comments or interests to these sites. RCPD and CEJ can both be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms.