Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

May 17, 2014

Attorney to review Peru police policies

Police chief said procedures have needed updated for years

PERU – The Peru Police Department plans to conduct a comprehensive review of its standard operating procedures (SOP) and make changes to department policies.

Police Chief Jonie Kennedy said parts of the 31 policy sections have been changed over the years, but it’s been awhile since the entire set of procedures has been reviewed.

“It’s kind of been an ongoing thing, but some of our procedures have needed updated for some time,” she said.

Policies included in a police department’s SOP include job descriptions, emergency response protocol and disciplinary standards.

The Peru Board of Works on Thursday approved a request from Kennedy to hire Charles Braun, the attorney for the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, to conduct the review and make suggestions about rewriting parts of the policies.

“It’s a very intense process, but this guy has 30 years of professional experience, so I think it will best benefit the city and department to do it this way,” Kennedy said.

The policy review comes on the tail of six ranking Peru police officers resigning their positions earlier this month and returning to patrolmen over issues with Kennedy’s management of the department.

The board of works promoted six patrolmen to fill the positions.

Kennedy said it has been her goal to update the department’s SOP since she took the chief’s position a year ago, and her request on Thursday didn’t stem from the officer shakeup.

“We had some officers that had a difference of opinion on the way I was running things,” Kennedy said in an interview earlier this month. “They have that right, and the right to return to patrol positions, which they requested.”

But with the resignations and promotions, Kennedy said she believed it was a good time to make policy changes such as creating more thorough job descriptions and clarifying procedures that are sometimes vague.

Kennedy said the review process will take around six months to complete and cost $5,000.

“To me, for the public to best be served and our department to better understand our policies and procedures, it’s money well spent,” she said.

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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