RCPD withdraws request to begin charging for local events

Photo by Mason Swenson| The Collegian John Doehling, assistant director of the RCPD, explains the accounting error that the department encountered while creating a payment for police that work on overtime for special city events. Doehling sheeplishly revoked his request, as also advised by the Law Enforcement Agency Board member, Dave Lewis.

The Riley County Police Department withdrew their request to begin charging for coverage of local events such as runs, bicycle races and other similar events at the Riley County Law Enforcement Board meeting Monday.

RCPD Assistant Director John Doehling withdrew General Order 2013-36 on behalf of the RCPD, after a number of groups showed up at the last meeting and commented on the proposed change.

“I think they rightfully pointed out that other agencies tend to treat these events as things we’re supposed to do, in the way of public safety and really traffic management,” Doehling said.

Doehling said the costs presented last month were also incorrect. The estimated number presented in June included Country Stampede and traffic management for football games and basketball games. Doehling said the other events would not cause nearly the budget deficit that was estimated

“Minus Country Stampede and the large events of football traffic, basketball traffic that we’re already reimbursed for — and I don’t think there’s any suggestion that we not be — the other events didn’t total more than probably $15,000 in overtime over the course of the year,” Doehling said.

In the event a permit is requested for an event that is overly taxing on the city or conducted in an “unsafe manner,” Doehling said the RCPD would recommend such a permit not be approved. Otherwise, Doehling said most other events would be approved unless there was a “huge drain” on the personnel available.

“I apologize for that error that we made, but it was our error in overestimating how much those events were costing us in personnel,” he said. “So, we think that we can deal with those issues as they come along, those events that come in from the city.”

Wynn Butler, mayor of Manhattan, said he agreed with the RCPD’s need to check event routes for efficiency.

“When these requests come out, routes and things need to be directed to where we use the fewest amount of people,” Butler said. “I think that is a good measure to pursue, between all those requests, (to) scrutinize them so that we get the best route that requires the least amount of resources and still supports the event.”

Shelton grew up in the desert southwest. A native of Lancaster, California, he mostly grew up in south Phoenix, Arizona; Austin, Texas; and Colorado Springs, Colorado before moving to Kansas and graduating from Junction City High School. He started working as a news writer for the Collegian in 2009 before taking a three-year break from college. He returned to K-State in 2013 and has since worked for the news desk, feature desk, as a copy editor and now as a sports writer. He enjoys tap dancing, writing anything possible, reading court opinions and watching Arizona Coyotes hockey.