Police departments often find it challenging to keep an open line of communication with the public that they serve. To address this concern, in July of 2009, the RCPD worked with a group of private citizens to develop a group that can serve as a liaison between the police department and the public. The group meets monthly to address issues of interest to the RCPD and how they may affect the citizens and business of Riley County.
From the beginning, efforts have been made to develop a group that represents a cross-section of the Riley County public, with members from a variety of business, geographic and cultural communities. Members were invited to join the board for three-year terms.
The CAB exists to serve several purposes. First, the CAB members reach out to the community to learn of any concerns that may relate to the RCPD, and bring those concerns back to the leadership of the police department.
Many citizens may feel more comfortable discussing these issues with their peers in the community, rather than addressing them directly to police officers. The CAB can help identify community needs, issues and opportunities for consideration and appropriate action.
Second, the CAB will serve as a sounding-board for the police department, helping to advise the department on issues, opportunities and policies from the perspective of private citizens.
Third, the CAB will help the RCPD in its efforts to improve the community's understanding of the police department's role in the community. As the department makes decisions and sets priorities, misunderstandings can arise, and the CAB can help communicate these issues to the public.
The hope of the CAB is that they can improve understanding and communication between the police department and the community.