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Lafayette Police Department holds community engagement gathering to hear input from residents


Lafayette Police Department held a community engagement meeting Wednesday to hear from residents, gather input and answer questions from the community.

Chief Rick Bashor, along with other members of the department, met members of the community at LaMont Does Park to seek to understand what residents are thinking and feeling toward the city’s police officers.

“We want to understand what interferes or hampers a neighborhoods’s quality of life,” Bashor said. “We really have to talk to the community to see what the community thinks.”

A group of about 40 to 50 people, all masked, gathered at the park to ask questions about neighborhood watch, day-to-day procedures and share their opinions.

Bashor told the group when he became police chief, he began working on the department’s transparency.

“We weren’t transparent before because people never really asked,” Bashor said. “But, people are asking and we’re very happy to provide that information.”

He said the demographic numbers of those arrested and municipal citations by race are available online.

“I’m very happy those numbers are low,” Bashor said. “My mission is to create and maintain a culture of inclusivity and make sure our department is free of racism and prejudice. I value everyone. Everyone here values everyone in our community.”

“We’re not perfect, we’re humans,” Bashor said. “Part of tonight is to hear from you, what the concerns are. Do we need to improve? Yeah, we always do.”

Lafayette resident Renee Morgan said she felt like the police was using the meeting as a public relations campaign.

“Hear me as a resident of the city, this situation feels like (public relations) to me and it’s not comforting,” Morgan said.

She also said a community oversight board would be helpful to have in the city.

More events are scheduled to take place from 6 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 5 at Waneka Lake Park, south of the boathouse, and Sept. 2 at City Park, east side of the ballfields.

Last month, Bashor gave a presentation to Lafayette City Council about the department’s training and hiring process as well as statistics over the last 10 years.

The presentation is online, and available in Spanish at

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