For the first time since the pandemic, law enforcement professionals from Fort Riley and the surrounding communities got together for the Quarterly Law Enforcement Breakfast in Grandview Plaza, Oct. 13. Included in the group were officers and leaders from Fort Riley, Junction City, Geary County and several other area agencies. The goal, share information and intelligence to keep lines of communication open between agency offices.
“It's a great opportunity for area agencies, law enforcement officers of every rank, from different agencies, military and civilian, to get together,” said Kurt Moldrup, interim director for Riley County Police Department. “One to build relationships, to make those connections and then also share information … the criminal people we deal with, don't pay attention to boundaries … so we need to do the same thing, share information, as well as just build relationships which are critical.”
Those relationships between law enforcement peers have real-life impact on resolving crimes in the area. Moldrup recounts one recent example.
“A really good example of this for Riley County when we had shooting down in Aggie Ville, we had CID (Army Criminal Investigation Division) and Riley police involved immediately, and we worked very well together to bring about a resolution to that case,” Moldrup said. “And I think that was a great example of the military and the civilian police departments working together. It was excellent cooperation.”
Another example is not tied to an individual crime, but to an ongoing effort that aids in prevention.
“Another great example is the liaison program we have with the military where we have [Soldiers] that walk with our officers down in Aggieville,” Moldrup said. “That's a huge benefit and helps officers that aren’t familiar with the military (to) understand jargon - just kind of be able to talk to other military individuals that we're dealing with down in Aggieville, as well as it helps prevent a lot of things because we've got those [Soldiers] down there. They see what's going on. So, they kind of have an idea what the problems are as well as what the benefits are, and they're able to nip some things in the bud before we get involved.”
For John Lamb, Chief of Police for Junction City, fostering that cooperation is integral to the networking event. As the breakfast began, he encouraged attendees to not only get to know each other, but also to share and compare notes on issues faced at each department.
“If anyone has anything they want to talk about, a problem that they are experiencing at their agency or through their profession that maybe some of us can offer some guidance because we’ve been through it already … no topic is taboo. We welcome that type of discussion.”
That communication pays off in other ways too. For Fort Riley Police Chief, Will Paskow, the benefit is in knowing that the people you reach out to will be there when the need arises.
“One of the great things about working in this area is you never reach out to another agency, and you don't get help. Everybody here is always all in … that's certainly something we always appreciate because a lot of times we bring you a lot of business,” Paskow said. “It’s really good that you know at two in the morning on a Saturday or seven in the morning on a Sunday to be able to pick up the phone and make a phone call and know that person on the other side of the phone conversation is on the team ready to pitch in. So, sincerely you know from Fort Riley’s perspective that's something we appreciate and certainly don't take for granted.”
The next Law Enforcement Breakfast is expected to be scheduled for some time after the start of the new year.