The next meeting of the Leawood Parks & Recreation Advisory Board is scheduled for July 14, 2020 at 5:30 PM.
To reduce the likelihood of the spread of COVID-19 the meeting of the Leawood Parks & Recreation Advisory Board is being conducted remotely using the Zoom media format and some of the members of the Board may appear remotely. Public comments will not be accepted during this meeting. City Hall is closed to public access during this meeting, however, the meeting will be livestreamed on YouTube and the public can access the livestream from the City of Leawood’s YouTube channel.
The next meeting of the Leawood Public Works Committee is scheduled for July 29, 2020 at 7:30 AM.
To reduce the likelihood of the spread of COVID-19 the meeting of the Leawood Public Works Committee is being conducted remotely using the Zoom media format and some of the members of the Board may appear remotely. Public comments will not be accepted during this meeting. City Hall is closed to public access during this meeting, however, the meeting will be livestreamed on YouTube and the public can access the livestream from the City of Leawood’s YouTube channel.
News & Events
Bored and need something to do? Complete the Leawood Public Art Scavenger Hunt for your chance to win a $50 gift card to Cactus Grill! Open to Johnson County residents. Submit your completed scavenger hunt with any accompanying photos to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than July 19, 2020 at 11:59pm. Include your name, address, and phone number in the email. A winner will be announced on July 20. Respect the artworks and keep a 12 inch distance (except for Faith by Wendell Castle). Keep photos family-friendly (avoid obscenity, hate messages, political messages or advertising).
Print out the scavenger hunt and have fun!
The City of Leawood is still accepting and reviewing applications received for all open posted positions. Due to COVID-19, the City of Leawood’s recruitment and hiring process may be delayed or altered. We encourage all interested applicants to continue to apply to any posted position(s).
In light of recent events in our country, the Leawood Police Department has received many different requests for information and has established many lines of communication with our public. After conversations with the Johnson County NAACP, we’d like share our responses to their Call to Action.
So that we can continue this open dialogue with our citizens, we also have this compilation of responses to frequently asked questions:
What is done to ensure officers are doing their jobs correctly?
Employees of the Leawood Police Department are held to a high level of conduct set by both city and department guidelines. Supervisors regularly review video of officers’ interactions with the public and take corrective action if they observe a violation.
The department also has a public complaint process, including the acceptance of anonymous complaints for investigation. Once received, a complaint is investigated by the department’s Professional Standards Officer. The Professional Standards Officer will then interview the complainant (if known), the officer(s) involved and review body worn, in-car and any other video of the incident before forwarding the investigation to the Chief of Police.
Do Leawood officers have body-worn cameras?
Thanks to the support of our city council five years ago we were able to provide body cameras to all of our front line, non-administrative personnel. These systems are linked to their in-car systems. The cameras are activated by several automatic triggers such as turning on their patrol car’s emergency lights. Officers are required to ensure their camera systems are activated a) during all enforcement and investigative contacts; b) on traffic stops; c) any self-initiated activity involving the public; d) any other contact that could become adversarial.
These videos are automatically downloaded and saved to department servers that only allow officers to review the videos, but not to copy, edit or otherwise manipulate the video.
What is a Use of Force?
The Leawood Police Department defines a use of force as “the application of physical techniques or tactics, chemical agents or weapons to another person.” Our agency instructs a variety of use of force techniques ranging from hand-to-hand judo-based movements to the use of oleoresin capsicum (OC/pepper spray), energy conducted weapons up to lethal force. We do not teach choke holds or any type of hold or restraint involving a person’s neck.
What determines the ‘force’ used?
Our officers are vested with the authority to use objectively reasonable force in carrying out their duties and may only use the amount of force necessary to accomplish a legitimate law enforcement purpose. This force should cease once the unstable situation or threat has been mitigated. Additionally, our policy includes the duty to intercede if other officers on scene see an unreasonable use of force. Any complaint of injury necessitates that a supervisor respond to the scene of the event.
Does your department have a Use of Force Continuum?
We discontinued the use of a use-of-force-continuum in the early 2000s. Such a document, which in generalities states that ‘if faced with this, do this,’ because it is not practical to have one guiding document to guide 62 police officers of varying ages, genders and physical ability. Instead, we rely on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Graham v. Conner (490 U.S. 386 – 1989) which set a standard of ‘balancing the nature and quality of the intrusion of the individual’s Fourth Amendment interests.’ To be more succinct, we look at the individual officer’s age, gender, physical ability and past training in reviewing each use of force rather than a formal matrix. We have different expectations on the amount of force an officer who is a six-foot-three, 260 pound former football player would use in a given situation compared to a five-foot-three, 130-pound officer.
Are chokeholds or strangleholds part of your use of force policy?
The Leawood Police Department does not include the use of chokeholds or strangleholds in any part of our Use of Force policy nor do we teach these to our officers.
Are officers banned from shooting at moving vehicles?
Our current policy states “shots fired at a moving vehicle are rarely effective. Officers should attempt to move out of the path of an approaching vehicle instead of discharging their firearm at the vehicle or any of its occupants. An officer should only discharge a firearm at a moving vehicle or its occupants when the officer reasonably believes there are no other reasonable means available to avert the threat of the vehicle.” We have chosen this language, rather than a ban on shooting at vehicles, after reviewing the use of vehicles as weapons.
Are officers trained to de-escalate instead of use force?
Every police officer has received and continues to receive de-escalation training. Officers are trained to use these skills, when possible, but we don’t require something be considered given the dynamic nature of each use of force incident.
Do officers have to give warnings before using force?
Just as with de-escalation, this would certainly be encouraged, but the vast number of police shootings are measured in seconds. LPD’s Use of Force policy states “a verbal warning should precede the use of deadly force, where feasible.”
Do officers have to use other means of force before shooting someone?
Our agency’s Use of Force policy explicitly states “Officers shall use only that amount of force that reasonably appears necessary given the facts and circumstances perceived by the officer at the time of the event to accomplish a legitimate law enforcement purpose.” We provide officers and train them in the use of hand-to-hand skills, pepper spray, conducted energy weapons, batons as levels of force before resorting to the use of deadly force.
Are the uses of force documented and reviewed?
Once the event is complete, officers are required to document every use of force, including the pointing of a firearm at a person. Each of these uses of force is reviewed by the officers’ supervisor, a division commander and the Chief of Police to determine a) were the officer’s actions lawful; b) were they within the procedures of the Leawood Police Department; c) were they within common practices of our agency; d) were any training issues identified in reviewing this incident?
Officer involved shootings are first investigated by outside investigators coordinated through the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office before any internal investigation is begun.
Do officers have a duty to stop excessive force by others?
Our department’s policies require ‘any officer present and observing another officer using force that is clearly beyond that which is objectively reasonable under the circumstance shall intercede to prevent the use of unreasonable force. An officer who observes another employee use force that exceeds the degree of force permitted by law should promptly report these to a supervisor.’
What type of training do police officers receive?
Every police officer in the State of Kansas is required to complete an initial course of instruction of more than 600 hours that is designed and administered by the Kansas Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. Each subsequent year the State of Kansas requires an officer to complete a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education including training in bias based policing. Officers who have specialties, such as instructors and training officers, will often exceed the state-mandated minimum hours.
Are officers trained to deal with the mentally ill?
With the steady increase in mental health related calls the last few years, the Leawood Police Department in 2018 joined the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s One Mind Campaign. To date, more than half of our officers and more than a third of our civilian staff have completed the 40-hour national Crisis Intervention Team training program. Ten others have completed the eight-hour Mental Health First Aid program. We have also entered into a program with the Johnson County Mental Health Center in which a trained mental health co-responder is available to respond with officers to assist citizens in mental distress. Finally, we have adopted specific policies on how our officers are to respond to persons affected by mental illness.
What is the department doing to communicate with the citizens it serves?
Our agency is proud of the relationships we have developed with the citizens we serve. We regularly participate in a variety of events around the metropolitan area sponsored by the NAACP of Overland Park, Olathe and Leawood; the NAACP of Johnson County and the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault to maintain open lines of communication.
Residents of Leawood are invited to join the NextDoor app so that we can provide safety alerts as well as informational announcements to our citizens. Feedback is also sought through an on-line survey in which citizens who’ve had contact with our officers are asked to provide anonymous input on their interaction.
Finally, for more than a quarter century we have offered a 10-week Citizens Police Academy. This program invites residents and those who work in Leawood into our Justice Center to learn more about our agency and, more importantly, the people who make up our agency. Through this program we answer questions and have formed lasting bonds with hundreds of past participants in this free program.
Mission Road is now OPEN to traffic in both directions.
There is still some final restoration work being performed so it remains an ACTIVE WORK ZONE. Work is expected to wrap up within the next two to three weeks.
Leawood Parks & Recreation has largely suspended, and in some cases cancelled, programs and activities over the last two months to help limit the spread of the new coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). Staff has worked hard to develop responsible operating plans as we aim for the safe, gradual opening of the Leawood Aquatic Center.
As the Governor and the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners have recommended and encouraged compliance with the Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas, we will continue to follow the plan.
We are currently working toward an opening of the Aquatic Center on Monday, June 15. The Aquatic Center will be offering three 2-hour swim sessions each day, open to Leawood residents only. Admission fee is $3 per person. Online registration for a session will be required at least 24 hours in advance at the following site https://webtrac.leawood.org. If you do not have a household account in our system, you will need to submit your household for approval a minimum of 72 hours prior to your visit to the Aquatic Center. Please be sure to include all members of your household on your household account during set-up. If household members are not on the account, they will not be able to visit the Aquatic Center this season.
We are hoping to start conducting swim lessons starting Monday, July 6. For more information, please contact our office at (913) 663-9154.
Please note, this is an admission fee as opposed to a “swim fee” all guests are required to pay to enter the facility.
KENNETH ROAD OPEN
On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, Miles Excavating, Inc. OPENED 143rd STREET from Camden Woods Office to Overbrook and KENNETH ROAD.
There will be daily lane restrictions for completion of street lighting and asphalt trail for a few more weeks in connection to the construction improvements.
On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, Miles Excavating, Inc. CLOSED 143RD STREET from the Camden Woods Business Center west to Windsor Road.
- Camden Woods residents will have to access the neighborhood from 144th Street at Kenneth or Windsor Road through the Steeplechase Subdivision.
- Camden Woods Business Center will access their lot off of 143rd Street east to Kenneth.
- Miles Excavating will provide access for the abutting property owners on the north side of 143rd Street between Camden Woods Business Center to Windsor Road.
The Contractor has until October 31st, 2020 for 143rd St from Camden Woods Business Center to Windsor.
- Detour routes East/West are 135th Street and 151st Street.
- Detour routes for North/South travel are Mission Road or Kenneth Road.
This year, the subdivisions of Whitehorse, Pavilions, Patrician Woods, Verona Gardens, and Leawood Meadows are on the schedule to be milled and overlayed by O’Donnell and Sons/Superior Bowen Construction Company, with some spot curb repair by the Leawood Maintenance Department.
The spot curb repair has already begun, and the mill and overlay will begin early to mid-June, progressing through the subdivisions in the order listed. The entire project should be complete by the end of July, weather permitting.
The Leawood Stage Company and the City of Leawood are sad to announce the cancellation of the
summer musical production of “Drowsy Chaperone”. In order to keep our cast, staff, musicians and
volunteers safe from COVID-19 we must cancel at this time. This show was originally scheduled to run
July 9-12 and 16-18.
Just like the spring production of “Civil War”, we hope to be able to secure the rights to the musical
“Drowsy Chaperone” for the 2021 season. Both productions were thoughtfully selected by the LSC
Board of Directors. The shows, though opposite in their style, both should become audience favorites.
“Civil War” is a sad but moving examination of the War Between the States and “Drowsy Chaperone” is
a charmingly witty reminiscence of old Broadway musicals.
We would like to thank the show Director, Kevin Bogan and his talented staff for the time committed in
planning this production. Thank you to all of the amazing people that auditioned. We will post plans for
rescheduling the show on our website at www.leawoodstageco.org.
Our fall production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” is scheduled for October 15-18 and
22-25. It is our dearest hope that the Corona Virus will be a part of the nation’s history at that time and
that we will be able to return to a life where social gatherings are not a dangerous experience. Please
check our website for more information about this show.
Be safe and please follow the guidelines recommended by the National and Local government to keep
all of us healthy.
Board of Directors Chairman
Leawood Stage Company
Leawood citizens have done a great job with the state’s ‘stay-at-home’ order, but there comes a time when you just have to escape and the recent spring weather has made walking/running outside a popular escape. With this in mind, here are some safety tips with so many walking/running outdoors:
- Pedestrians have the right of way: when they are on sidewalks, when they are crossing a street in a marked crosswalk or at a corner.
- Pedestrians do NOT have the right of way if they are crossing in the middle of a block.
- Pedestrians must obey traffic control devices (lights) – use the crosswalk signals at signal controlled intersections for your safety.
- Pedestrians should be using a sidewalk/trail if it is available. If you have to walk in the street, walk FACING traffic – see for yourself that oncoming drivers see you and aren’t on their cell phone.
- Don’t forget to wear bright colors – it will brighten up your day and help insure drivers see you.
Take care and stay healthy!
The city of Leawood was recently ranked as the second safest city in Kansas. Alarms.org looked at 2018 statistics as part of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report statistics and noted the city’s low crime rates, including the lowest rate of violent crime in the state and a property crime rate below the state and national levels. For a full accounting of the ratings, please visit https://www.alarms.org/safest-cities-in-kansas/.
JoCo Quarterly, the county’s external e-newsletter is now moving to a monthly format. This change reflects feedback recently received from residents. The first edition of JoCo Monthly was distributed Wednesday, July 31. Look for future editions at the end of each month.
The Leawood Police Department has free cable gun locks available for residents at
the Justice Center, 4201 Town Center Drive. The locks (limit one per household)
are available Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you own a firearm, please be a responsible gun owner and make sure it is
To all Leawood residents,
The frequent and sizable recent rain events are causing water related problems for some of our Johnson County Wastewater customers (JCW).
Thus – I wanted to briefly let you know about the Johnson County Waste System Back-up Prevention Program (BUPP) which has available funds. The program began in 1998 due to large rain events and the Commission has continued to fund the program.
Northeast Johnson County includes some of the oldest areas (greater than 50 years old) and is primarily made up of clay pipes. As these pipes age, cracks can develop allowing rain and groundwater to enter the pipes. Water in basements can be caused by many things other than sanitary sewers including rainwater coming in and around home foundations, blocked foundation drains, or improperly sloped ground around the house.
Johnson County Wastewater wants to help Johnson County residents better protect their homes during these rains. This program is voluntary and provides funding to eligible home owners, so they may install a backup prevention device or make plumbing modifications on their property.
JCW staff will investigate all calls to determine if the water in the basement was due to a sanitary sewer back up or water from some other source.
If you hear from constituents regarding sewer backup issues, please feel to direct them to JCW’s website https://jocogov.org/dept/wastewater/engineering/backup-prevention
Beginning on May 1, 2019, most Leawood Governing Body meetings will start at 7:00 p.m. If there is a work session scheduled prior to the regular meeting, the regular meeting will commence at 7:30 p.m. An easy way to verify the starting time is to click here.
Effective Friday July 26, 2019, the Leawood False Alarm Reduction Program will be managed by Cry Wolf Services. It is very important for all of our residents and businesses to understand that the level of Police services provided in response to an alarm will not be affected. All fees associated the False Alarm Reduction Program are controlled by the City. The Police Department continuously works to provide the best possible level of services to the community and we believe this transition is in line with that goal. We have a long standing working relationship with Cry Wolf Services and we are confident in their ability to manage this program with the same level of customer service as you have grown accustomed to.
Contact information for the Leawood False Alarm Reduction Program is:
Cry Wolf customer service: (833)279-5535
Mail: Leawood False Alarm Reduction Program
PO Box 310808
Des Moines, IA 50331-0808