The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 28, 1996 · Page 6
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 6

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 28, 1996
Page 6
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AB SUNDAY. JANUARY 28. 1996 KANSAS THE SALINA JOURNAL T POLITICS State GOP adopts tough new platform Despite Graves' protestations, party members oppose abortion and gun control By The Associated Press TOPEKA — Social conservatives who now control the Republican State Committee brushed aside an attempt by the state's national committeernan to soften a plank opposing abortion, toughened a plank against gun control and adopted a new platform on Saturday. Gov. Bill Graves, a moderate who had discouraged creation of a state party platform on grounds it can only emphasize Republican divisions, made a brief appearance to present an award to retiring National Committeeman Jack Ranson of Wichita. State Sen. Mike Harris of Wichita was elected without opposition to replace Ranson, while Mary Alice Lair of Piqua was reelected national committeewoman, also without opposition. Graves, given a polite but unenthusiastic welcome, left before the debate began. So did all but a handful of delegates from the 1st District of western Kansas, the only congressional district still controlled by GOP moderates. Two of them, Douglas Sebelius of Norton and William Elliott of Hill City, cast the only votes against adoption of the platform on a standing vote. About 80 of the 130 members of the state committee were present for the platform debate, which took three hours. Most of the 1st District, delegates left the The Associated Press David. Miller presides over Kansas Day activities Saturday at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka. State Republicans met to adopt a platform. Kansas Expocentre before the platform discussion. They went to a downtown hotel where Pat Roberts, who has represented the district in Congress for 15 years, formally declared as a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Nancy Kassebaum's retirement. Ranson, who is leaving the GOP National Committee in August after serving on it for nine years, proposed an amendment that would have softened language in the party's abortion plank. As approved, the plank supports a national human life constitutional amendment and states, "We oppose using public revenues for abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it." Ranson proposed to substitute for that sentence a statement that said: "The Kansas Republican Party recognizes that there is a significant disagreement among-Republicans on the abortion issue. "We advocate that all Republicans work toward the elimination of all abortions through programs to decrease unwanted pregnancies, to increase the number of adoptions and to further the education of citizens that abortion is a practice to be avoided if at all possible." Ranson said he recognized his amendment would not succeed, but felt compelled to offer it because the national GOP is trying to defuse abortion as a hot-button issue within the party. He said polls show Republicans are almost evenly divided over the choice issue, adding, "I think it's important, if possible, that our platform recognize the reality. We all oppose abortion. The issue is how you get there." The majority cut off debate on Ranson's amendment, then rejected it on an overwhelming voice vote, punctuated with shouts and applause. Sebelius, son of the late U.S. Rep. Keith Sebelius and brother-in-law of state Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius, and Elliott said the abortion plank 'was the main reason they voted against adoption of the platform. "There is so much injected into that platform that I feel is a matter of faith...that it doesn't belong in a political platform," said Sebelius, an attorney. "We shouldn't determine who has a right to choice and who does not." Phillip Journey, a Wichita attorney who is on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association, succeeded in getting anti-gun control language added to the platform. He said it would keep gun rights advocates supporting the GOP. T U.S. SENATE Roberts formally declares Representative is now , the front-runner after : making it officially official By The Associated Press TOPEKA — U.S. Rep. ,Pat Roberts made it official on Saturday: he will seek the GOP nomination for the Senate. His announcement made him the instant front-runner for the seat being vacated by Sen. Nancy Kassebaum. Roberts said the campaign is about "Kansas values," Which he said are threatened by Washington. "With Pat Roberts in the U.S. Senate, Washington will listen when Kansas speaks," Roberts said. On the stage with Roberts were his wife, Franki; his son, David, who had been attending Kansas State University; and his daughter, Anne-Wesley, who is in high school. His other daughter, Ashleigh, a sophomore at the University of Kansas, is studying in Spain. ROBERTS Police / Team wants local input FROM PAGE A1 - But he said the policies developed through accreditation are worth the effort. "It shows you've gone the extra mile, done everything you could to make sure the service you're providing is as professional as it can be," Hill said. The standards manual lists things that the department must comply with, such as development of a "use of force" or death investigation policy. To comply with the standards, the department has written hundreds of policies and officer directors, which are included in a three-ring binder about four inches thick. The "use of force" policy is 10 pages, and the death investigation policy 16 pages, Hill said. "We tried to be as comprehensive as possible without overwhelming the officers in the field," Hill said. Officers will have to memorize some of the policies — such as the use offeree policy — and will carry the manual with them as a guide, Hill said. One of the benefits of written directives will be consistency, Hill said, because all officers will follow the same procedures. "People should expect to be treated the same at 3 p.m. as they are at 3 a.m.," he said. That means that drivers on Ohio Street at 3 p.m. should be able to fudge the speed limit just as much as drivers on Ohio Street at 3 a.m. And yes, Hill said, a written directive sets the mark at which speeders should be ticketed. But, alas, that directive is in the policy manual, in a "coded" section not open to public scrutiny, said Capt. Dave Dunstan, accreditation manager. Hill said accreditation also provides accountability, as accredited Anyone who wishes to comment about the Salina Police Department's ability to comply with the standards for accreditation may do so. The standards are publicly available at the Salina Police Department, 255 N. 10th. People can register their comments by: • Attending a public meeting at 7 p.m. Monday in Room 103 of the City-County Building, 300 W. Ash. Comments will be limited to 10 minutes. • Call the assessment team at 826-9952 between 1 and 5 p.m. Tuesday: Team members are Chief Wayne McCoy of the Worthington; Ohio Police Department; Sgt. Cynthia Aaron of Burleson,"Texas; and Chief GraftbriL. Wells of Staunton, Va. • Write to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement, 10306 Eaton Place, Suite 320, Fairfax, Va., 22030-2201. HILL departments must not only have the policies and directives, but be able to prove that they're followed. And accreditation opens up the agency to outside scrutiny. "It's easy to tell yourself that you're doing things great, and have the person next to you tell you that," said McCoy, the assessment team leader. "It's another to have an independent team from out-of- state that's totally objective come and give you honest feedback." McCoy said his team will investigate the police department from top to bottom. They'll not only review the policy manual and directives, but ride with officers and talk with citizens to decide whether those directives are being followed. "If they say their communications department does this or that, we'll go make sure that's what goes on," McCoy said. "We will investigate every aspect of the police department." And at the public hearing, they'll listen to everything everyone has to say about the department, good or bad. «, "That's usually pretty interesting," McCoy said. "But at one meeting, everyone said such won- derful things about the department that it got old." Although the hope is that people at the meeting address whether the police department is capable of meeting the standards set by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, McCoy said they won't be asked to cite specific standards. He said a discussion of any aspect of the police department — from how an officer acted when stopping a speeder to what the department does and what it should be doing — is welcome. : "In a police department, public input is vital," McCoy said. "What the public thinks is very germane in everything you do, from A to Z." And if someone brings up a concern about a specific incident, McCoy said the assessors would investigate the incident and the police department's response. "We certainly will take into account everything that everybody says," he said. "We have the public meeting early, so we'll have a couple of days to investigate what people bring up, interviewing people in the department and the city." Departments say process worth it Salina has spent untold hours and more than $10,000 on accreditation By SHARON MONTAGUE The Salina Journal As far as Lawrence Police Chief Ron Olin is concerned, the list of law enforcement agencies that fail to renew accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies is telling. "The cost is so high, and it's so intense, the jury is still out," Olin said. Olin's department began the accreditation process two or three years ago and faces yearly questions whether the outlay of money and effort is worth the eventual prize. Two police departments in the state — the Riley County Police Department and the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department — are now accredited, and Lawrence and several other departments are working through the process. Riley County is facing its five- year reaccreditation, with its assessment team visiting next week. The Lawrence Police Department began the accreditation process because officials believed it would offer an in-depth policy review. But the cost in staff time, travel, equipment and attendance at accreditation seminars already has reached more than $50,000, and the task is only about halfway completed. At one point, the process stalled for six to eight months because of a shortage of money. The process also stalled at the Hutchinson Police Department because of a lack of staffing, said Capt. Ron Moore. Moore said accreditation efforts are expected to be taken up again soon, as the department is again at full staff. In Salina, Police Chief Jim Hill said it was impossible to estimate the number of hours spent during the accreditation process. Salina's accreditation fee, paid in 1990, was $10,825. At least one full- time employee has been dedicated to accreditation since January 1991, except for periods of months when the effort was stalled. In recent months, several people have been working on the process, Hill said. "I've spent a considerable amount of time on it myself," Hill said. In Riley County, officials have decided that accreditation is well worth the effort, said Lt. John Doehling, training officer and accreditation manager. Doehling cited these benefits of accreditation: • Departments that are accredited find it easier to purchase liability insurance. • Accredited departments use policies based on nationally accepted standards, boosting their defense in lawsuits. "If you have good standards and officers follow them, you have a better foundation to stand on," Doehling said. • The standards require that departments set up a system to ensure that employees are following the policies. • Accreditation is like the "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval." Doehling agreed with Olin that the process is demanding and expensive, but said Riley County officials have concluded it's worth the effort and money. Law enforcement agencies across the country have come on board in the past several years. Doehling said that five years ago, Lawrence was the 160th agency to be accredited. Latest figures show that 341 agencies are accredited, and many more have embarked on the process. "I don't think this is a passing fad," Doehling said. "It's been around for so long, and the purposes are so well-founded. The goals are good ones." ' - CELLULAR • A Al &^ PAGERS TVWi CELUULAROME- Authorized Dealer FRIDAY, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY $100.00 FREE AIRTIME WHEN YOU BRING IN AND ACTIVATE ANY COMPETITOR'S PHONE!!! OR $50.00 FREE AIRTIME WHEN YOU ACTIVATE ANY ONE OF OUR MANY FREE PHONES*!!! COME IN AND CHECK OUT OUR ASSORTMENT OF FREE PAGERS*!!! THREE CONVENIENT LOCATIONS 1815 S. NINTH 635 W. SIXTH HON. 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