Heated discussion Highlights Law Board Meeting

Photos by Cathy Dawes

Photos by Cathy Dawes

The mother of a man shot near a gas station on Manhattan’s North side in May was back before Riley County Law Board members Monday. Sophia Starks, the mother of Dareen Starks, who was allegedly shot by Daeshawn Bryant, 18,complained about not being able to meet with Riley County Police authorities with her attorney present.
It was difficult for RCPD Director Brad Schoen to get a word in as she made some of her points,with Ms.Starks saying she was getting the “run around.” Schoen finally had a chance to explain there are two aspects to the case–one which involves the courts, and the other that involves his law enforcement agency.
Board Member Wynn Butler suggested Starks articulate her complaint in writing to RCPD so internal affairs can investigate it. The second area deals with the court aspect of the case–which Butler emphasized the Director and Law Board have nothing to do with, and that it’s the Judge who sets the bond.
After a fair amount of discussion, RCPD Counsel indicated Ms.Starks could bring her attorney, with RCPD also having its counsel present to make sure they don’t stray into areas they shouldn’t. Schoen had explained at the beginning of the discussion it’s standard procedure not to have attorneys present during such discussions, which could continue into some type of lawsuit. Starks agreed to that.
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Riley County Law Board members apparently have a disciplinary appeal they’ll be hearing, with action taken for a hearing officer in the appeal by a Riley County Police Officer. Law Board Chair John Matta suggested law board member Barry Wilkerson, who also serves as Riley County Attorney, serve as the hearing officer in the case.
Wilkerson was not present for Monday’s Law Board meeting,but the group approved his selection. RCPD Director Brad Schoen told reporters after the meeting the hearing will be open to the public and a date for the hearing will be set later. Schoen was not specific about the disciplinary issue involving Swartz.
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Law Board members observed the Certificate of Promotion presented to Captain Joshua Kyle, with Assistant RCPD Director John Doehling  sharing information about Kyle’s earliest days with the police force, beginning with the Boy Scouts of America Explorer Program at the young age of 14. Also presented Monday were Life Saving Awards to Donald Taylor and Jayson Werner, in connection with a May 18th rescue and recovery of victims in a boating accident at Tuttle Cove, and to Officer Adam Peterson and Dispatcher Anna Sharp in helping rescue an individual involved in an ATV accident in April.
And all too often we hear about the shootings, rapes, burglaries, and thefts that occupy our law enforcement authorities. But as Riley County Law Board member Wynn Butler mentioned at Monday’s meeting, there are good things that happen too. Butler specifically brought up four letters from members of the public, thanking RCPD and expressing appreciation for good deeds performed by officers…
The letters related to helping with vehicle troubles, returning a wallet, help with a summer program for USD 383, and police presence at a recent event.
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A memorandum of agreement involving Riley County and Kansas State University Police was approved by Riley County Law Board members Monday. RCPD Director Brad Schoen presented the MOA, which was approved unanimously by the six law board members present for the meeting. Schoen adds the memorandum of agreement makes clear who responds to what areas for incidents such as accidents.
Dir. Brad Schoen and Capt. Josh Kyle

Dir. Brad Schoen and Capt. Josh Kyle

Dir. Schoen with Citizens Donald Taylor and Jayson Werner

Dir. Schoen with Citizens Donald Taylor and Jayson Werner

Dir. Schoen with Officer Adam Peterson and Dispatcher Anna Sharp

Dir. Schoen with Officer Adam Peterson and Dispatcher Anna Sharp